The Post: Interviews with 11 Famous Directors

December 3, 2012 at 9:54 am

The Post: Interviews with 11 Famous Directors

Have you watched a short film today?


Quentin Tarantino, Ben Affleck, Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, David O. Russell, and Gus Van Sant.  Just hit play.



XTRA | Review: Why HUGO to the movies



XTRA | Movies That Changed Everything: The Lord of the Rings


XTRA | Inside the Edit: Kill Bill Volume 1


XTRA | Star Wars Episode VII Story Round Up


A great speech about the merits of creating mysteries.

XTRA | A tribute to J.J Abrams

ARGO See This Movie

October 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

ARGO See This Movie | Argo Review 2012


Ben Affleck directed one of my favorite movies to come out in the last few years:  The Town.  I’m a big fan of that movie.  Going into Argo, I was expecting another solid film and that’s exactly what I got.  Three in a row Mr. Affleck (Including Gone Baby Gone of course).  Argo is a tense telling of an extremely dangerous and remarkably true story.  Right off the bat, I couldn’t imagine what it must have been like to be surrounded by thousands of angry people set on sending a violent message to the world.

It takes two minutes to understand the impossibly high stakes these people faced in Iran.  When 6 people take refuge in a Canadian Ambassador’s home, it’s up to Ben Affleck’s Tony Mendes to get them out.  The plan?  Create a fake movie production company and convince the Iranians that the 6 Americans are actually Canadian filmmakers.

Getting the 6 people out of Iran was an intense journey highlighted by a trip to the town square surrounded by a mob hoping to find and kill Americans.  It’s hard to believe these people actually took the risk and posed as filmmakers.

The intensity on one side of the world is balanced by scene stealing performances by John Goodman & Alan Arkin on the other.  They are absolutely phenomenal as Hollywood pros who help set up the titular fake science fiction movie.  Every single scene involving these two was fantastic especially Arkin’s exchange with a producer for option rights to the script.

Honestly, I can’t think of a single movie featuring John Goodman that I didn’t enjoy.  Or at the very least enjoy his performance.  I can say the same for Affleck’s directing efforts.

It was surprising that a movie centered on a truly terrifying situation could also contain well placed comedic moments.  The film even boasts a fitting catch phrase:

“Argo f*ck yourself”

Argo successfully balances terror, drama, comedy and all the fascinating elements you’d expect from a true story.  I think it’s that balance that makes Argo a wonderful achievement and one of the best movies of the year by far.

Click here for more reviews.

ARGO See This Movie | Argo Review 2012 | Goodman & Arkin Steal The Show

All Time Best Movie Moment Of 2010

December 27, 2010 at 8:01 am

All Time Best Movie Moment Of 2010

When selecting the best movie moment of 2010, you have to take a lot of things into consideration.

It’s different for everyone.

  • What made you laugh the hardest?
  • What scared you the most?
  • What had the most impact on you emotionally?
  • What surprised you?
  • What blew you away?

For a while, my favorite movie moment was going to be ‘the kitchen cupboards’ from Paranormal Activity 2. It was completely unexpected and had me smiling ear to ear long after it was over.

That was my first instinct.

The more I thought about it the more I was drawn to one of my favorite movies of the year.

The Town

Not only is it an incredible movie but it was full of powerful moments that I could pick for this post.

Strangely enough, I decided to go with one of the funniest moments in the movie.

The Nun Showdown

All Time Best Movie Moment Of 2010

Obviously, I can’t find the actual clip of the event in question but it happens after Ben Affleck and his crew flee a heist dressed as nuns.

An incredible gun fight and car chase ensues and just when they think they’ve lost their pursuers, they come across a cop on his break.

The showdown is hilarious.  The cop is essentially face to face with a group of semi automatic carrying nuns.

He’s alone and pretty smart as he casually looks the other way.

No way he wanted any part of what they were doing.  He chose to live.

It was a subtle way to say

“La la la, I didn’t see anything, la la la”

It’s an amazing moment that stuck out as one of the best in 2010.

Click here for my full review of The Town.

Check out the trailer below.

Movies That Changed Everything: Good Will Hunting

October 27, 2010 at 8:59 am

Movies That Changed Everything: Good Will Hunting

I’m an aspiring filmmaker.  Like every filmmaker out there, I have a lengthy list of films that have inspired me along the way.  This series will examine twelve of the films that changed the way I looked at movies forever.  Films that have greatly influenced the filmmaker I hope to become someday…

Good Will Hunting

Movies That Changed Everything: Good Will Hunting

I think Good Will Hunting may lead the league in 10 Flicks appearances:

I think it’s safe to say that I highly enjoyed Good Will Hunting.

It changed everything for me because of incredible amount of research that went into the script.  It’s the main reason I find Matt Damon’s central character so interesting.

I love character driven movies. I think it’s fascinating that you can create a fictional character so interesting that he/she can carry an entire movie on their own.

The research that went into this film must have been insane.  Each and every reference to literary giants and some of the smartest people who have ever lived had to have been carefully thought out.  It’s that detail that adds to a world that commands your full attention.  It’s that detail that makes the film great.

Beyond that writer’s Ben Affleck & Matt Damon bring their home town of Boston to life in addition to creating a strong supporting cast of characters.

It’s a big world they created to tell Will Hunting’s story and it takes a lot of effort and skill to pull it off.

Good Will Hunting taught me big lessons about character deconstruction.

You can literally take every scene in the movie and break down what you learn about Will.  In truth, anyone can write a scene that tells you something about a character but doing it in interesting and thought provoking ways is what sets this movie apart.

Through all of his confrontations, I like to imagine the revelations the screenwriting team had while they wrote it.

The magical moments when a story just clicks and you know exactly where you are going with it.

When you reach a point when the characters are real, they write the story for you.

It’s a trance every single writer strives to achieve.

I try to seize those nights every chance I get.  It’s an addicting feeling to turn your computer off and feel like you’ve written something memorable.

Screenwriting is meant to challenge your abilities.  Movies like Good Will Hunting inspire me to go farther and push myself harder.

Since I saw Good Will Hunting, I’ve tried very hard to make sure I fully research everything I write down to the last detail.  I still have a lot to learn but it’s a fantastic way to plan a story.

The work is fun because the reward is priceless.

The Town Has It All

September 21, 2010 at 9:47 am

Review: The Town Has It All (The Town 2010 Movie)

I was desperate for another action movie with a good story since Inception is the only film that really brought it this summer.

Finally, I got my wish.

The Town

First of all, The Town is one of the best movies of the year and should be up their on voters ballots when Oscars roll around.  Above that, it’s also one of the best heist movies I’ve ever seen.

To summarize, I absolutely loved The Town.

Review: The Town Ben Affleck

The best action movies ALWAYS have incredible stories to match the guns, explosions and brawls.

What I loved about The Town was how well the heist and chase sequences integrated into the story.  When you care about the people involved it makes the action that much more exciting and interesting.

Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner and Jon Hamm steal the show here. Every 5 or 6 minutes it felt like another bomb got dropped.  Another twist in the tale.  Gradually, the stakes continue to rise.  By the time you I saw those creepy nun masks come out, I already had the film in my top 5 for 2010. It’s that good.

Then the action starts and it’s every bit as entertaining as the story itself.

  • Ruthless gun fights.
  • Gritty car chases.
  • Vicious stand offs.
  • Explosions.
  • Punches.

…  Nice.

The Town is exactly what I needed after a summer of disappointments.  Like The Departed, it’s a look into a fascinating world that will stick with you.

I think it’s a lock for a best picture nomination especially now that they nominate 10 movies. I don’t think it will win but it’s such a well made movie that it deserves to be honored.

People will say that Ben Affleck is back.  They will say Jeremy Renner and Jon Hamm played incredible supporting roles.  They will say The Town is one of the best films of the year.

I couldn’t agree more.

The Town kicked ass.

PS: Honestly, how awesome is this trailer!