In discussing films, there might be spoilers. Sorry!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tom Selleck and Nathan Fillion from Guest Cassidy McKay ...

Why do we love those flawed characters in movies and books so much?

Consider Jesse Stone in the popular made-for-TV movies of the same name. Tom Selleck plays a tough, burned-out cop who moves to a small town to start over after a divorce. He is still in love with his ex-wife, but hates that she continues to have so much pull over him. He has a drinking problem and doesn't want to allow himself to care for anyone again... yet he has a job to do and he does it well, regardless of the pain it may cause him.

Or we have the hard-ass female character on the TV series

Castle. Stana Katic plays Kate Beckett, a homicide detective who is all business, until the famous writer Rick Castle

(played by Nathan Fillion) is thrust into her life and job in order to research a new book series. We find out through the series that Beckett's mother was murdered when she was young, and she is determined to both find the killer(s), and to harden her heart against being hurt. Yet the rich, humorous writer wants to be the one to help her see the beauty, the love, and the fun in life again.

From oral stories passed down through the ages all the way into modern times, we love our flawed characters, sometimes in spite of ourselves. Odysseus struggled with pride and infidelity. Jane Austen's characters all had issues they were dealing with. Even the popular Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer has both an angst-ridden, lonely teenage girl, and a reluctant vampire who hates what he has become. We are biologically programmed to care for those who are hurt or need help in some way or another.

Current authors and screenwriters still use the flawed hero or heroine to make us care and draw us into their lives--so much so that we are desperate to either fix their problems, or cheer for them when the plucky hero or heroine steps up to the plate and heals those who seem almost beyond redemption, except to those who were meant to love them.

So what about it? Which fictional flawed hero or heroine flips your switch? If you could go back or forward in time into any book or movie, who would you want to rescue from themselves, or their situation?

Cassidy McKay lives in Northern California, nestled among the pines of the Sierra Nevada foothills. After a rather unique childhood where learned to deal with emergency veterinary surgery, firefighting, dog training and washing clothes in creeks, she worked her way through a career in law enforcement, four children and two marriages. She entertains herself studying the local history and spends her nights writing spicy, erotic romances after the kids go to bed. She amuses herself bantering and brainstorming with her husband, fantasy writer H.E. Curtis, while traveling for research, family entertainment, and her never-ending search for sanity. When she is not writing romances or harassing her husband, Cassidy enjoys reading almost anything she can get her hands on.

Visit Cassidy’s website at http://www.cassidymckay.com, or for sweet romance visit her alter-ego Ashlyn BarrĂ© at http://www.ashlynbarre.com.

From this cave to that in ten easy steps ...

I think I might be a little scattered the next week or ten days. I have to take up everything in this house, put it in a truck and drive it over to that house. It may be mere miles from here but looking around, I am thinking it might be a lot ways longer.

I have lined up a few people to guest blog during this time, so I hope you will enjoy them.

If you have any funny moving stories to share, please do. I am going to need the laughs.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Brick ..."

Staring: JGL, Lukas Haas, Nora Zehetner Emilie de Ravin

Directed/Written By: Rian Johnson
Released: 2005

JGL said it in one of the recent quotes, it's just about the script and in his mind, this one rocked. "In Brick, the world is born in words."

There is not a lot of action in Brick. Not like there is in a lot of the films that come out today. Bumble Bee will not be transforming. Denzel Washington will not be trying to stop a train. In Brick, the tension is not developed by an explosion, but by the mix of words, expressions and simple actions carried out by very good actors. There is a discussion here, fist fight there - but there isn't CG or need for a long list of stunt doubles. This is an Indie film focusing on a story and the people who are caught up in the conflict.

Kara: "You better be sure you wanna know what you wanna know."

and ...

Brenden Frye "Your muscle seemed plenty cool putting his fist in my head. I want him out." The Pin: "Looky, soldier..."
Brenden Frye: "The ape blows or I clam."

With words like this, dialogue like this, Brick was more in sync with an old Humphrey Bogart film of 1941 than an Indie film of 2005. I could see the appeal to JGL who professes to love old movies.

Says Bogie as Sam Spade in The Matese Falcon: "I hope they don't hang you, precious, by that sweet neck. Yes, angel, I'm gonna send you over. The chances are you'll get off with life. That means if you're a good girl, you'll be out in 20 years. I'll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I'll always remember you."

Brenden Frye is a high school senior still hung up on his old girlfriend, Emily. She comes to him for help, then turns him away before he can be of assistance. She was afraid of something, something bad and he doesn't know what. Tracking her movements, finding out what she got in to, it becomes his mission ... until he finds her face down, dead, in a stream. Then finding out who killed her and why is all this loner kid can think about, regardless of the danger to himself. He begins journey into the dark world of drugs and criminals and a kid, not much older than himself, (Haas) who thinks he can run the world from a van while using a cane.

The role of Brenden Frye makes a halfway point in the development of JGL. Very much past his Third Rock days, he is choosing roles that take him as far away from Tommy as possible. Brenden is a hybrid, child to adult. He is a kid either too stupid or too disinterested in making choices where he could end up dead. Yet, he is adult enough know to handle the scrapes he gets in, remain in control and come out on top.

The supporting cast in this file was excellent with Haas leading the bunch. Side-kick - I always like side-kicks -- "The Brain" played by Matt O'Leary, is great as the kid with all the answers. He knows everything Brenden needs to know yet we aren't always sure who side he is on. He lets Brenden know he is figuring it out, realizing Emily is missing, suspecting Brenden knows more, yet The Brain never pushes and always offers his help.

In the end, Emily died for no reason. The love Brenden had for her was not enough. A loner through and through, who preferred his lunch alone behind the buildings, away from the crowds, he would have been there for her, protected her, taken care of her as best he could. Instead all he could do was bring down a drug ring and bust the one person responsible for every one's misery.

I would call this a quiet film packed full of emotions and words that leave you thinking and wondering just how Brenden might have been able to make a difference if only Emily would have trusted him in the first, second and third place.

Friday, March 18, 2011

JGL talks about picking a part ...

JGL on looking over scripts and parts ...

"Most scripts are bad. I read a lot of them. Brick (2005) was a good script just to read. It was like, "Oh my God, these words feel so good in my mouth". A lot of movies try to set up a world with cool sets, costumes, camera work. In Brick (2005), the world is born from the words."

JGL on sex in the movies ...

A short quote from JGL about sex in the movies ...

"To me, a sex scene in a movie generally means a gratuitous scene that doesn't serve the story but gives a kind of excuse; we've got these two actors, we want to see them naked, so let's bring in the music and the soft light."

Photo: JGL with Claudia Schiffer in a GQ Magazine tie ad

500 Days of Summer ... In JGL's own words ...

And here is what he said ...

"The traditional Hollywood sentiment is contempt for the audience. I've heard executives say, 'Audiences are stupid, kids are stupid,' but that's not going to fly anymore. I think Obama is great evidence of that. This is maybe a sort of pretentious parallel to draw, but it's the same with how love stories are told in movies. 500 Days of Summer wouldn't have made sense in our parents' generation. It reminds me so much of 2009."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

*-* give away UPDATE give away UPDATE *-*

I got it!!

I am going to do a drawing.

We are 24 hours from the 500 Days ... upload and I am hoping for a lot of comments. So, I am going to watch for the next five ... count them five reviews and whoever leaves the most comments will get to have their name tossed into a hat. If you happen to follow and mention that in your post, I will put your name in two whole times.

Think of this ... comment ... you'll have a chance at a really cool new t-shirt and support Regular Joe's Pet Project.

Drawing will be held April 4th. Unless I get behind on the reviews, then I might have to extend that.

Friday, March 11, 2011

*-* Give Away Give Away Give Away Give *-*

I feel like giving away one of these shirts to support HitRecords.org. But I am not sure to who or for what reason to do this give away. Got any ideas on what would make a really good T-Shirt Winning Contest? Comment below, get a friend to follow or just say hi and will see what I can do about the give away.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We're at DefCon Three ... Blast Off!

As a kid, I always said asthma felt like an elephant sitting on your chest when you tried to breath. Asthma is one of those things I know since I've had it forever. Yesterday, though, I find out that there are "Stage Attacks" ... really? We have DefCon Stages and I am yellow? I look terrible in yellow!! And I supposed DefCon 3 wouldn't be so bad -- if I hadn't I discovered there are only foouuur stages.

500 Days of Summer is going to be a few days late. Sorry about that.

While I get my brain working again, though -- lack of O2 does things to the thinking process -- why don't you go check out JGL's pet project HitRECord.org? It doesn't have a lot to do with characterization -- okay it has nothing to do with characterization -- but it is his passion and worth it to go take a look.

HitRecord is a production company opened up to the public where people can post and share artist pieces. If a piece is picked up and everyone jumps on board, then it dream becomes a reality and sometimes there is a pay check involved. And though a check can be nice, this community is really less about monetary gain. It's about giving people a chance, or working with other great minded people and about a opportunity being offered by a damn good actor who looks beyond his own career.


Monday, March 7, 2011

"500 Days of Summer ..."

500 Days of Summer
Staring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel,
Directed by Marc Webb
Released 2009

At the beginning of the movie, before the title, a disclaimer states:
Frame One: "AUTHOR'S NOTE: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental."
Frame Two: "Especially
you Jenny Beckman."
Frame Three: "Bitch."

Very cleaver way to start a movie. You already have a smile on your face before the characters step onto the scene.

500 Days of Summer pits hopeless romantic Tom Hansen against Summer Finn, the girl of her dreams. Only she makes it clear up front she won't be his girlfriend and she will never believe in love.

Boy meets girl. Boy wants girl. Girl wants be your friend, hold your hand, sleep with you for eighteen months but girl will not accept the myth of love, the hope of a relationship's future or the fact that this exceptional boy with a slight twist to his mind, will do anything for her. Tom studied to be an architect and now writes greeting cards. To fill that missing hole in his life, that unfulfilled dream, he has a favorite place to sit: a park bench over looking old Los Angeles where he can ignore the parking lots and enjoy the buildings of old, all of which he knows the history -- a idealist through and through. Summer cannot appreciate what she has in front of her - a needy boy who wants her bad.

Summer: "We're just friends. "
Tom: "No! Don't pull that with me! Kissing in the copy room? Holding hands in IKEA? Shower sex? Come on! Friends my balls!"

The part of Tom Hansen is a departure from JGL's darker roles that he took between 3rd Rock"s Tommy and Inception's Arthur, his two mile stone characters. Tom is high maintenance, a sorta needy dreamer who isn't looking for the perfect love of his life, but does, none the less, feel he found it the second she walks in the door.

Summer is described as "quite ordinary" yet men can't help but fall in love with her and ice cream sales at her previous summer job sky-rocket by the mere fact she is behind the counter. She is an extra-ordinary woman in this supposedly average body. Only not much is ordinary about co-star ZooeyDeschanel. This was their second feature film together after Manic, released in 2001. JGL and Deschanel have that Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart/Lauren Becall, Chevy Chase/Goldie Hawn chemistry together. The short vignette posted several weeks ago of the bank heist shows just how good they are together and how they can make each other laugh. Yes, it is all for the screen as they are not involved, but I did hear tell they do hope to make more movies together.

Was Tom the perfect man for Summer? Not even close. But he did need this cock-eyed relationship to put his perspective of life in order. She hurt him. She hurt him bad. Even cruelly when she wasn't trying. But in the end, he was able to come through and realize sometimes when it doesn't work out, good can still come from it.

From the film: "If Tom had learned anything... it was that you can't ascribe great cosmic significance to a simple earthly event. Coincidence, that's all anything ever is, nothing more than coincidence... Tom had finally learned, there are no miracles. There's no such thing as fate, nothing is meant to be. He knew, he was sure of it now."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

One More Lead in to "500 Days of Summer ..."

If one pre-video is good for promoting your film, then two must be better. In this second, director Marc Webb draws dialogue from the movie, giving "Sid" and "Nancy" a chance to break up with some class and style though the pancakes stayed in the film.

This is a twisted bit of fun for those who like rock trivia. The fact the genders switched roles, with JGL not only in a dress, but with an unshaven beard makes it all the most enjoyable. And who knew Zooey Deschanel could swear like a rock star gone bad?