I generally hate Inside the Actors Studio
, the interview show with actors on Bravo. I don’t dislike the host, the guests or the concept, and maybe it’s the edited version that fails rather than the in-person experience, but the end result on television is more often than not a series of questions that overwhelmingly eschews any actual insight into the craft itself or the life of a working professionals in place of celebrity chit-chat. Fair enough, but I don’t care what working alongside Brad Pitt was like. I’m sure he’s delightful. What does that have to do with the work? With the life? Who would actually go on screen and say that working with Brad Pitt was a gut-wrenching experience barely preferable to that of a good old-fashioned leeching?
Anyway, I’m interviewing screenwriters in Page Ten, the Hollins University Screenwriting Podcast. Take a listen with the link below. I don’t know, maybe it’d be better if I asked more questions about movie stars. Previous episodes can be found on iTunes and over at the Hollins Screenwriting site.
Hollins University Screenwriting Blog
The line of dialogue almost pales in comparison when brought to light against the backdrop of the absurd fight sequence between Rowdy Roddy Piper and Keith David, as the former tries to force the latter to put on a pair of sunglasses in a last-ditch effort to save the world from evil aliens. This is the simplest, clearest description I could provide of the scene and is a fairly accurate summary of the movie as a whole. So yes, to answer the obvious question, They Live is an absolute must-see.
The joys of the film have everything to do with dark humor, satire and piles of genre fun. Directed by John Carpenter, whose exceptional body of work rivals the greatest American film directors without all the pesky corresponding critical acclaim, They Live is nowhere near his best effort (The Thing, Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13) but it practically defines the term ‘cult favorite’, which is praise enough. Aside from the forthcoming line, the highlight of the film is the aforementioned six-minute long battle royale in the alley that defies description. Here it is in its entirety.
Frankly, and I’m not saying Mr. David was right or wrong in his decision making during this scene, but for me, I probably would have put the glasses on.
Anyway, once the two men have settled their differences as scholars are wont to do, the story kicks into high gear, as we learn the aliens have slowly taken control of the Earth through subliminal messages delivered through a powerful signal broadcast from high atop the city. A plucky band of freedom fighters will try and disrupt it, which leads to a pretty cool ending. Before that, however, Rowdy Roddy Piper stumbles into a bank, for some reason that escapes my memory or perhaps because it simply happens for no good reason, and there he delivers one of those perfectly awful lines of dialogue that make movies so damn great.
Yor: The Hunter from the Future
As a child barely seven years of age, I saw this delightful and highly influential piece of trash in the theater when it was released out into the world in 1983. It’s one of my earliest movie memories and gives proof to the notion that there is no film so awe-inspiringly awful that it will not still beat the pants off the outdoors during an Indiana summer. Attendance wasn’t by design, mind you. My mom was out running errands and had made the classic mistake of taking her young children with her instead of leaving them alone in the house to fend off potential burglars, and she was desperate to get out of the heat. The timing was fortunate, in a way, I’m not even sure air conditioning had been invented before the 80’s.
Nothing has made me laugh harder in recent memory than Esquire’s February cover story on Megan Fox. It’s spectacularly awful in every way. Here’s a link to the full article – http://www.esquire.com/features/megan-fox-photos-interview-0213
If the myriad of funny responses excoriating the piece that are easily found with any Google search containing ‘Esquire Megan Fox’ does not entertain you on a slow day at the office, please enjoy Hitler’s spirited defense of a young actress who used to think very highly of Marilyn Monroe.
Zero Dark Thirty is a decent movie whose depiction of torture in the search for Bin Laden has touched off a series of accusations/protests against the film. Here is one such example, a letter from Senators McCain, Feinstein and Levin directed to Michael Lynton, chairman of Sony Pictures: “With the release of Zero Dark Thirty, the filmmakers and your production studio are perpetuating the myth that torture is effective. You have a social and moral obligation to get the facts right.”
This is a flawed argument in a number of ways. First and foremost, movies are under no obligation, moral or otherwise, to get the facts right. This is silly. Movies are at their core, Adam Sandler and otherwise, art, and art knows no obligations save for itself. That’s what makes it art. The marketplace determines whether the movie will sink or swim, critically and commercially, so encouraging filmmakers to censor themselves for the social good is an idea on par with letting Tim Tebow start at quarterback.