Category: General/Media


focusfanfour2ce5The Movie Snitch is dead. It started off as Reel Time Movie Blog, which was an offshoot of The Movie Blog. It’s not a total surprise. Last post I did on the site was an op-ed on the Deadpool film just before it was officially announced that the character would get his solo film. It wasn’t a big prediction – the spinoff had been in development for years, and most fans of the character and/or the X-Men films could sense it was coming round the bend. Most of the time I concentrated on film reviews both new and retro (“Forgotten Fridays”) but even that was getting taxing on me. Not because I didn’t like writing about films old and new. but I never fully agreed with the Review template Rodney Brazeau supplied me. I felt it kind of tied my hands, as opposed to my room for wit over at the other sites I contributed to. The death knell came for that review template when I did a retro review for Side Out an 80s film which I liked and I never quite figured out why I did. (It was a guilty pleasure) But it got me thinking about the reviews I did there, as opposed to those I did on Choking On Popcorn (a site that’s still around – in fact, so is my “infamous” review of The Exorcism Of Emily Rose Why is it ‘infamous’? Read the comments section at the end of that- I double dare you!) or some my past reviews from the ol’ Projector Booth from the early 2000’s (I saved some of them) and course, my in-depth overthinking on Daredevil and Jaws 2 here. Don’t get me wrong—I enjoyed my time at The Snitch. But with all of the content gone, and all the content I wrote for The Movie Blog gone, Dark Universe. Rest In Peace…and the Projector Booth film review hub (1999-2004) it’s kind of like an empty feeling.

Rodney, however, is more than right when it came to the State Of The Snitch. Movie blogging is not the same as it was ten years ago. Sorting through movie news stories is easy enough, sorting through what is gossip and rumor is another matter. One too many sites, in hopes to grab hits, run with gossip and rumors as “fact” or “confirming” something which isn’t official. Not to mention that when I found legit stuff, by the time I read the articles, checked facts and wrote my own post, a good chunk of my day was gone. And I did it because I loved it. But as days go by…you do want to see the sunrise. You do have other things going on. Other hobbies. My screenwriting passion, for one was getting a new wind in the sails. As far as movie pundi’ting goe, it gotten to the point where I would focus on reviews, op-eds and one of my favorite kind of movie news stories- the kind that connects to the film buffs. They weren’t “movie news” per se. but they were fun stories to post about. Call them…”human interest” stories.

I recently dusted off The Kernel because mt guess on the fate of The Sniych was correct. It had gone the way of the dodo. IRONICALLY, just before the site took a hit with some hacker (?) and spambots lined up like Disneyland, Anthony Whyte who briely was with me and Rod in the early goings of the Snitch, but apple polished the Movie Blog owners to come back and is now the editor there….offered me to return. That was back in July of this year. A week later, Snitch closes shop. Interesting. Anyway, I didn’t say yes. I didn’t say no. But I was curious about a few things. I did a quick check. Sure enough, for the year’s worth of posts and reviews I did over there, they are gone by the way of The Void. There are only small hints that I was even there, but ever since John Campea and Doug Nagy left, the suite was never the same. When the owners booted Rodney and the writing staff (including me) they became the laughing stock of the readers. The site has never recovered. Movie blogging is a dying art. There are some survivors, but when you look at those sites like Screenrant or /film, they run a tight ship.

.Would I return to The Movie Blog? The answer is…probably not. They erased ALL of my posts and reviews there and I’ve already climbed that peak. I could ask for some payout, but if I did, I expect the check to bounce they are so in the red. Would I go back to Choking On Popcorn? Maybe…but I doubt it. So right now I’m kind of freed up to write for any film site.

As for this blog, I am NOT going to talk about most “movie news be it rumor, fact or fiction. I will be focusing on writing and/or filmmaking process, op-eds and (for now) on reviews both recent and retro – in fact I have made a decision. When it comes to retro, I am going to bring back an old staple from my Projector Booth days.

The return of IN FOCUS.

In Focus was an in depth analysis of any film – not just a film review, although sometimes that was the case. It was a feature, and it wasn’t uncommon for some participants to post of their film school term papers online at the time. No kidding. You would have thought we were Film Comment reborn. Up in the corner of this post is what the In Focus moniker looked like. This post has nothing to do with the Fantastic Four, from 2005, but that’s only an example.

It is extremely possible I will revisit films I wrote about on the Snitch Forgotten Friday, such as Blue Thunder, The Last Days Of Disco Mary Reilly or Side Out. Also, I will be reprinting the past reviews/In Focus features that I had previously saved with an additional re-write/follow up because it some cases, it …well it is 15 years later and my views may or may not have changed.

For those that I didn’t save it’s all good because it gives me an excuse to talk/write about them again.

Harry wasn't the only one in anguish.

Harry wasn’t the only one in anguish.

Every now and then I’ll see a film which I want to like or love but wind up despising. Sometimes Out of curiosity I will watch that film again on DVD if there’s an audio commentary and deleted scenes involved. It has to be a steadfast rule with me, though. It has to both. Sure, most of the time I’ll rent from my local library. but free or not, it has to be worth my time. But generally speaking, I’ll watch a bad movie intentionally to hear what was going though people’s minds especially if it is a writer and/or director.

My thoughts on The Amazing Spider-0Man 2 haven’t changed much since last spring. I still find it disappointing to say the least. But I’m also glad I re-watched it with commentary and viewing some deleted scenes. One can ;earn a lot from this stuff and absorb it. That’s even if you think the film is a chunk of mud.

Much was talked about Shailene Woodley being cast as Mary Jane Watson then her character edited out of the film. I wondered if those deleted scenes were on Blu-Ray, they were not on the DVD. From what it appears, it would seem that not much of those scenes were actually filmed. During the commentary with Executive Producer Avi Arad, Producer Matt Tolmach and writers Alex Kurtzman and Jeff Pinker, not much is mentioned about it. But I took note of a few details:

* It was Sony who wanted Felicia Jone’s character, Harry’s secretary to be named ‘Felicia’. This is a possible *and widely assumed) nod to Black Cat. However, in the previous film, the character in the post credits scene was supposed to have been Electro, only now it isn’t. That character is renamed The Gentleman. So this may or may not be The Black Cat character (and I hope it’s not)but the fans are assuming it is.

* A test audience was okay with the death of Gwen Stacy. Specifically parents who thought young children can handle it. Yet it seems the filmmakers think such audiences (or young children) cannot handle Harry becoming the Green Goblin. Let me tell you something right now I think kids would have been okay with the Osborn transformation. I’m willing to bet they would think it was awesome. (Also, it’s in the deleted scenes, so there’s a possibility they might get a peek at it anyway)

* Alex Garfield and Emma Stone have good chemistry. I don’t doubt this, young adult relationships seems to be Marc Webb’s biggest strength. If he didn’t have Spider-Man, imagine what he could do with something like Mortal Instruments or other young adult box office misfires. That said, one of the things that annoyed me in the previous film was the character of Gwen Stacy being borderline contrived. It’s one thing if Peter was an intern or snuck into Oscorp. It’s quite another when Gwen is one of the top researchers and she’s still in High School. Gwen still works for Oscorp, in spite of a top scientist turning into a monster and there are cover ups going on.

* Many plot points were dropped over the editing of the film, but some of them made their way into the trailers, which got our interest in the first place. Reason why they were dropped was for pacing issues. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with that. But most of the time, a pickup or ADR line is needed in case those deleted scenes hurt the narrative of the film. That’s what happened in the previous film, where a supporting character was kidnapped by The Lizard and never seen again (a deleted scene “cut for time” explained the plot hole). In this film, a deleted scene shows off not just a Goblin transformation but the exo-suit as ell. It still doesn’t explain the pumpkin bombs (but my theory on that is the filmmakers are using our previous knowledge of the previous franchise so we know that’s “the” Goblin) but had there been a pickup to cover some of this “The Goblin” would not have some out of what seems to be nowhere.

* A great touching moment which I liked in the film, Spider-Man helping out a kid targeted by bullies. It is a great scene. While this isn’t the previous franchise; Peter Parker wasn’t bullied or pranked. it still is something which we can relate to and the fact that this sort of behavior is getting more attention is recent years. So what’s the downside? The ending. Same kid stands up to Rhino who has machine guns, rockets and a metal suit ten feet tall. Everyone watches, nobody runs. It’s kind of like an earlier scene with Electro and a barricaded crowd (as if they expected him to show up) and in that last scene, Spider-Man shows up after a few months off (as we are informed) and the action comes to a stop. The filmmakers and writer “thinks” this was a great idea. It isn’t. It backfires. Unless Rhino isn’t such as bad guy. letting down guard for a turn of remorse and mercy. Spider-Man is more of a fair fight and there’s more of a rematch opportunity.

Which of course, the audience is robbed of. Was The Rhino needed at all? His inclusion was a setup for The Sinister Six, a MAJOR problem with this movie’s marketing. Don’t believe me? Well, okay. Why then, in the marketing of the film, was there a big tease of the Six? Why tweet out a picture of a soundstage with “Sinister Six” on it and get the fanbase worked up over it? Why give us the easter eggs in the endless slew of trailers? They tell us we are getting a spinoff film with the Six and those characters teased at the end credits might not be even in the film.

Add all this up. It almost sounds like the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. That’s exactly what went wrong with this movie – it is a tug of war between camp (Rhino, Electro, the planes and convenience) and serious (Peter,Harry/Goblin and Gwen relations) with threads from the previous film left dangling but just enough for some interest only to be unresolved (mystery of Peter’s parents)The film should have been (and could have been) one or the other. Oddly, I’m siding with what was the best thing about Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. It wasn’t a cool villain (Sandman) but the…wait a minute. what did I just say?

No, I meant that. For the past few years, I am stunned by the outright hate-on Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. It has ts drawbacks, don’t get me wrong. but let’s get a scorecard, shall we? In that film, Harry becomes a mask-less Goblin. He has had some practice on his flying surfboard, has access to pumpkin bombs and such. Yet the strongest highlights of that film is the relationship between Peter, Harry and MJ. Flash foward to now and ASM2. Here we have another talented actor, who becomes a mask-less Goblin who can operate a Glider in less than an hour, laugh like the Goblin and use weapons which he had no prior access to. Strongest arc in the film? The Peter-Gwen-Harry dynamic.

It almost comes across to me that nobody quite has a handle on where to go with this. The franchise is far from in trouble, however, In fact, I’ll make a little bet. Should the S6 project get canned and maybe the Venom solo film and Amazing Spider-Man 3 has those characters…the series will be recast and rebooted once again, probably called Spectacular Spider-Man and then “the fans” will proceed to trash talk all the good things about the past trilogy as if it were all an abomination and yes, I’m also willing to bet someone in the wild screaming with a fist in the air “Give the rights back to Marvel!”

Like that’s going to work.

So What Happened?

It’s been a little over a year or so since I posted anything here. The reason for this was that I spent my time divided in three or four places. One such place was The Movie Snitch, an offshoot of The Movie Blog . For a little over a year now The Snitch had been doing so-so in readership. There would be a spark of momentum, then *crash boom bang putter putter* there would be gaps in posts,. The fact of the matter is it was a two man show, then as Rodney got swarmed, it soon was a one man show. I can only hog a spotlight for so long, and for those that have known my rep since 2000 from the good ol’ Projector Booth days (1999-2004) , you know I ride things out until the bitter end. But despite some appearances, I tend to favor collaboration.

It feels that way for The Snitch. Late July of this year, there to seemed be, shortly after my post about how to make a Deadpool movie work, and an odd offer from Anthony White to return to The Movie Blog (co-incidence?), a slight mess on WP dashboard of The Snitch. We are now under spammer swarm, and there’s not a diddly thing I can do. I wanted to review some films both new and retro (Forgotten Friday) but I been locked out for time being. Add to that the state of most film internet ‘movie news’ sites are, sadly, only half that nowadays.

Not everyone is like this, of course, but there is a scourge, and it won’t be before long a studio promoting a film will just come out and tell the honest truth about a project with tons of bombshell spoilers. And nobody will believe them because half the “movie news” sites report otherwise. When you search the net for movie stories to put on a blog, and most of what you get is a wheel barrel of bullshit. is it even worth it anymore? The stories I tended to write about wound up being fan based and/or human interest stories and how they relate to film. Not really “movie news” per se, but I got more enjoyment and more likes when I located and shared those stories. But finding those articles are becoming more and more rare. Everyone it seems wants those hits on the page, they won’t check into facts or sources. They will reword phrases or jump to wild conclusions. And they never stop and think.

Anthony White said to me the owners of The Movie Blog (who have driven that once good place in the dirt) don’t have a problem with me, it’s with Rodney and I can come back if I choose. I said I’ll think about it. That thought went between the ears for about a minute. My answer was and iss no. I have to pass.

Really? They slapped my cyberknuckles, deleted ALL of my posts there…which if you put in a lot of volunteer work at websites and then find all your time and energy is all for naught, it does kind of feel like…despite some passion, you could have had better things to do. I climbed that peak. I reached that summit. And I was treated like dirt on a scuffy looking shoe. Less than a week later of saying no Movie Snitch gets locked. I’m not suggesting it’s connected, I’m just saying….y’know I notice stuff.

So after a month, it’s time to dust this off and start again.
I

My IMDB Page

My first official credit is now listed on IMDB. I wonder what I could add to the trivia section. What would be useful info…? I could look up old classmates Tony Sims who crewed a few films in the early 90s and most likely Ammar Desariah, who does some acting gigs here and there.

Being an extra on Chris Robin Hood’s thesis film ‘Count’ back in…oh when was that? 1992 or 93 I think. Worked at Merha Tube, Grand Blanc, MI in the late 90s-early 2000s. The Rabbit Lady from Roger& Me – Michael Moore’s late 80s doc- worked there.

Oh, there’s the “Dusty” gig at AutoWorld in 1990. The place is now the UM parking lot.

Hopefully, this is the start of good things.

In any case, “Forced Donation” my first produced short, will be screened at the Independent Filmmakers Convention
in Indiana next week, June 7th.

That would be an interesting double bill...

That would be an interesting double bill…


Even though I have the DVD, for some reason I found myself watching, at least the latter half of 2001’s Donnie Darko on the Blockbuster channel (Dish). Nothing else was on at the time to suit my fancy. I also know that I’ll re-watch the film later on in it’s entirety sometime soon. It’s just a rule of mine. But re-watching even part of it transported me back to the the first time I seen it at the 2001 Austin Film Festival. I loved the film then, and I still love it now. I got the screenplay/book, big time fan. I still have hopes for the films writer-director, Richard Kelly, even if he did go on to later direct The Box and Southland Tales, that he will return to the brilliance seen in this film.

In any case, I got a little curious and wanted to brush up on my Darko trivia. Went to the IMDB. Surprised that I discovered that Darko had a bit part for Seth Rogen, his first onscreen role. Hung my head in shame that I didn’t know that or had simply forgotten. Hey, we’re all human. We all err, right?

Headed to the goofs section. My jaw hit the floor.

You gotta be kidding me.

Goof: Anachronisms: When Donnie leaves the theater to burn Jim Cunningham’s house down, we see that the films playing at the theater are The Evil Dead and The Last Temptaion of Christ. Although the film is set in 1988, The Last Temptaion of Christ wasn’t released till 1989

I had long since forgotten my old IMDB account so I promptly made a new one with my Facebook. I’m sorry. I feel it’s my civic duty. Even at three in the morning. How long has that been there?

We are only human, right?
And, lo, it’s also concerning that overrated piece of stuff the otherwise brilliant Scorcese did. Never thought in a million years I’d be the guy to set the record straight. Least the person can go back and use spell check. But here’s my correction, and I hope IMDB has the wisdom to let it stand-

When Donnie leaves the theater to burn Jim Cunningham’s house down, we see that the films playing at the theater are The Evil Dead and The Last Temptation of Christ.Some think the ‘Last Temptation Of Christ’ wasn’t released until 1989. The fact is the film was first given a limited release on August 12, 1988. It is possible that the film was re-released in early 1989 to drum up Oscar support. In addition, while the film would have been out of release theatrically by the events of ‘Darko’, the double bi ll is at a second run theater, or that ‘Evil Dead’ was booked for the Halloween season.
Type: Incorrectly regarded as goof

Even the IMDB lists the release of Last Temptation in August. On top of that, it’s The Last Temptation Of Christ. The protests that summer were even more remembered more than the movie itself. But it got me thinking about something. How many “goofs” people talk about on various films aren’t really goofs?
Your Friendly Big Brother hasn’t got the time to police all the pages, but I can’t help but post about this.

I don’t know why it hits me this way. It just ticked me off. I have nothing to do with the film other than being a film watcher. And this…”goof” ticked me off. Makes me think of all the rotten little things that nitwits on the net do. Like going into Spoilers R Us on Wikipedia. Seriously! But here comes another ballgame, calling out errors when there aren’t any. And all IMDB has to do is ONE QUICK FACT CHECK. But I’ll play optimist.

So maybe the writer of that entry also saw the film on Block, and said, “hey! This film takes place in 1988! Last Temptation was in 1989!” to which is equally as dull because it just takes ONE QUICK FACT CHECK to know for sure.

Maybe nobody cares. Life goes on.
But sorry whoever wrote that. I can’t let that slide.
Not as a Darko fan, not as a film fan, not as an aspiring writer-director. Just all the above.

And a concerned citizen.

Vampires, vampires and more vampires! One of these days, I hope for a Moonlight movie...

There are a few new places which I am roaming around on the ‘net, and lucky for me, none of them are MMOs. Yes, I do my share of online games, but not as much as a few years ago. They are, for the most part, too time consuming and when I step outside to get the snail mail I feel like a Morlock. In any case, since The Movie Blog is defunct for me, I decided to add to the links ‘Reel Time Movie’ Blog’ which is what the old ‘Movie Blog’ used to be. (re: IQ). Most likely I’ll be joining back up with those folks sometime soon. The link to that will be up when it goes live.

But since I was updating the links section, I threw in one more. That’s the Castle Dracula Podcast which recently started up on Talkshoe. For anyone who has visited places like NowLive LA, it’s kind of like that: a call in Podcast and live chatroom. Castle Dracula is hosted by “Sword of Dracula” author Jason Henderson, “Halloween Man” creator Drew Edwards, “Clockwerx” manga creator Tony Salvaggio, and Julia Guzman.

It just so happens that at this time I’m expanding a short script of mine ‘The Servant’, which deals with Vampires, Vampire Hunters and one unusal Ghoul. The concept is simple: if vampires can be updated and re-invented, why not the hunters? Why can’t the Ghouls? So listening to this podcast helps me in a few ways by getting into the ‘vampire mood’ if you will. Yes, I could pop in DVDs of ‘Near Dark’ ’30 Days Of Night’, ‘The Lost Boys’, ‘Shadow Of The Vampire’ the ‘Blade’ films and the ‘Moonlight’ TV series to get some styles in mind. It always helps; when wanting to write action films, shouldn’t you watch action films to study structure and what’s been done? When I want to write Horror, I’m not going to watching three of my favorite films, Lawrence Of Arabia, Star Wars and The Outlaw Josey Wales. Know what I’m saying? Okay, maybe Jaws. But I’m most likely to watch Stephen Kings’ Salem’s Lot – both the one with David Soul and the one with Rob Lowe. Or at least a film-noir thriller like ‘After Dark My Sweet’ or ‘House Of Games’ (a different kind of vampire: a con artist)because I do find that film noir can lend itself rather easily into a vampire horror.


An era is at an end. As of August ist, ‘The Movie Blog’ has been uncermoniously been taken over. Even Rodney Brazeau, who has been with The Movie Blog since its humble beginnings, has been locked out. In the last number of months, Rodney, Anthony White and myself were the only active posters on the site, although Hollywood Slinky and Ian would come around time to time. But we kept it alive.

It wasn’t as popular as when John Campea and Doug Nagy were there, I know. People do miss the podcasts. However, when Rodney was posting up the MSN Film Fan feeds, there was a question posed. If folks wanted MSN FF to continue, that’s great. If not…it was hinted that Rodney would do a few mini videocasts of his own in regards to upcoming weekend films, or something to that effect.

That slight glimmer of hope is now off the landscape.
While things change, and the owners of the site (who are nobody who I mentioned above) can do what they want, I think it would not have been too much trouble to let at least Rodney, the senior editor of TMB, to know what’s going on. You can still say “adios” if you like, but at least folks know you waved goodbye. Follow me? The regular and loyal readers of TMB will catch on soon, I’m sure. There is, however, something of note : the owner’s new writer, Erik, DID NOT write a post/headline that announced the changing of the guard.

My. my, aren’t we sneaky?

Seriously, wouldn’t that be a nice thing to do? I mean, okay, you lock all the writers out, including the senior editor, but you don’t let the readers in on the transition? It may be a shallow deed indeed but at least one can create an illusion of grace.

Does it matter that much to me? That’s a tough question. I’ve migrated off and on over sites for almost ten years now. I like doing most film discussion and film reviews, but on the plus side not blogging about news on other sites does allow me a little extra time to work on my screenplays. I’ve also had to say goodbye to some of those sites for one reason or another. But what bugs me is this…mantra. I haven’t a clue WHY people do this nowadays. You would *think* with the e-mail, skype, Facebook, twitter, everything under one’s fingertips – people can communicate and talk to each other.

Yes, folks can do that. They could also go by dinosaur tactics and thinking by remaining silent and waiting to stab you in the back. No warning. No heads up. No class.

The Clean Up Crew

Coming soon to a Film Fest near you?

Okay, it seems like Breaking Eggs may not be the first short script of mine to roll before a camera after all. It’s still going to happen, as far as I know, but something else has happened. Unlike Eggs which is intended for a student film, The Clean Up Crew is another matter. This one, like Eggs, was found on the Inktip short script listing. The “pay” is still about the same (peanuts, almonds, copy of film and a written by credit) but…

Hello Darren,

I really enjoyed reading The Cleanup Crew. I loved the fact that it was a new take on a ghost story. What are you looking for in the matter of having this made? Although I don’t have money to offer up for short scripts; what I can offer is getting the project up on to IMDB, and once it would be shot, sending it to various film festivals around the country. I’m searching for a couple of scripts that I will be producing and having them either directed by me or one of my filmmaking partners. Anyway, let me know your thoughts. I love the script and I hope we can come to some type of arrangement to get it made this coming year.

-Zachary
(November 9th, 2010)

After a response from me which theses two words-

======HELL YES======

pretty much sums up my response, I heard back from Zachary soon after, and he already has reached out to an FX makeup artist and an actress he knows. The expected shoot date is between December 2010 and February, depending on availability of cast and film crew. The IMDB page will go up sometime during or just after post. IMDB is “cracking down” on various “announced projects” simply because many of the announced films (feature and short) fizzle out but remain on the site for extended periods of time.

This is just good news all around. I have generally kept the news low profile, because I also don’t want to jump the gun too much. I also want it as a bit of a surprise for some of my relatives, spring it on them next week during Turkey Day, or perhaps Christmas. (Probably the former; someone’s going to blab, I’m sure of it)

Anyway, for those curious, The Clean Up Crew deals with a haunted hotel, with one unoccupied room in particular. It’s nothing that jumps out and goes boo; but rather a paranormal mess of blood and ectoplasm left behind in the bathroom. A ghost named Sam, who was a homicide detective from the 1940s, cannot go outside of the bathroom. The after hours cleaning crew, Gus and Rick,having to go to the same room on a regular basis, is thought to be slacking off. Cassie tags along to supervise. However, Cassie’s no-nonsense approach ignores the rules that the two men are familiar with, as only one person can enter the bathroom to clean it. A disregard or these rules results in a bigger mess to clean the following night, Cassie is left to clean up the blood all over the bathroom. Rick and Gus can only observe, play cards and watch late night TV. Sam helps by talking Cassie through it- although Sam is mildly sexist in personality.

Alba Doesn’t Read, She Guesses

So why did you take the leads in 'Awake', 'Into The Blue', 'Good Luck Chuck'; and 'The Love Guru' again?

Of all the film news this week, I don’t think anything comes close to the recent comment from actress Jessica Alba, where she is quoted from Elle :

“Good actors never use the script unless it’s amazing writing. All the good actors I’ve worked with, they all say whatever they want to say,”

The result of the soundbite has some fallout. Leading the anti-Alba campaign, so it seems, is screenwriter John August, who on his blog hopes that Alba was taken out of context. Given the fact that Jessica Alba is not a good actress and she’s aware that she has mostly been cast as eye candy, the comment is suspect. I put in ‘so it seems’ because even though other writers have made comments on it, August is better known. So the media picks up on it. Not just the boneheaded Alba quote, but August’s response to it.

In a few days, folks have played well into Elle’s little trap. Elle knew the quote was (or sounds by itself) airheaded. They knewit would cause a fuss. They are going to sell some extra issues because of it. They know that too. But the quote is odd, because Alba’s lead roles to date haven’t been in good movies. In supporting roles she seems okay – but I don’t think she had that many lines in Never Been Kissed and of course Sin City– a film which unlike many of my fanboy peers I didn’t care much for- she was eye candy. She was horribly miscast in The Fantastic Four films (in terms of age, not ethnic background) and my sister liked Honey I thought it was nothing more than an hour and a half music video. In fact, the smoking gun can be seen in the extras on that DVD- ALL the music videos are actual movie scenes. Not clips. Scenes. I will admit, however, to having a mild liking to The Eye– but the remake with Alba does not hold a candle to the original Pang brothers’ fiilm.

I wondered about the ‘good actors’ she mentions. Who is she talking about? Okay, Mike Myers comes to mind, he’s been known to stray off the page- but he’s also been known to write (or rewrite) some of his stuff too. I’m sure she didn’t mean Terrance Howard, Bruce Willis or Michael Chikilis . Are they bad actors because they hit the marks? For the films in which she has been the lead- is Dane Cook a good actor? Hayden Christensen? That’s a lot of speculation. But I have a bigger question.

If you are offered a project and you think the script is not to your liking, why do you say yes? It could be possible that some of Alba’s films- even Idle Hands looked great on paper. It’s been known to happen – good scripts not translating well onscreen or getting mangled in a development process. It’s possible. Or perhaps a film like ‘Awake’ was a great script and the two lead actors felt otherwise so they didn’t follow the script and messed up the movie.

I wonder now if Alba was a good actress on the TV show Dark Angel. Remember that? That’s when folks REALLY discovered her. Did she tick people off and do her own thing or did she read off the page?

I’m sure she’s a smart cookie. But y’know what, You talk like an airhead, you act like an airhead, within time, the general public will treat you like one. Your mantle is being passed to Megan Fox, so there may be a day where this problem can be solved.

They are watching. They are everywhere. You'll need special glasses to see them...

The plan was to catch the immature morons with video cameras who, for some reason, still think it’s okay to take video cameras into movie theaters. A nice effort, I can’t say I’m against it. But it seems more bright ideas have come to pass, and now…the concept of catching morons on camera filming theatrical films has expanded to average movie -goers as well. It isn’t just about crime anymore, or seeing which nitwit whips out a cell phone and chats during a movie. No, this is something a bit more dumb.

From Torrentfreak:

Besides traditional CCTV cameras, Aralia Systems offers elaborate piracy tracking devices. One of their products is an anti-camcorder system that projects infrared light beams onto a cinema audience. These beams are reflected back off camcorders and will trigger several alarm bells.

Basically, it comes down to extracting as much information from movie goers as possible, by adding analytics software that can read people’s physical reactions as well as their emotions.

According to Dr. Abdul Farooq from Machine Vision Lab, the project should make it possible to record and analyze the public’s emotions. These emotions will not be used to track down camcording pirates, but will serve as a market research tool for the movie industry and advertisers.

So let me get this right. The executives want audience reaction to the movie being shown for marketing purposes. That’s it in a nutshell. Now, there is some good that could come out of this. Advertisers can finally take note that the majority of commercials that play before movies (not trailers) are under the wrath of many patrons. I personally boycott any product I see for a month. If I already own the product, I won’t use it for a month. Commercials before movies are an annoyance. Reaction to movie trailers can REALLY be helped by this idea though. Maybe they will hear a moviegoer say “You buttheads! You just gave away the twist ending!” or at least the “oohs” and the “aahs”.

But as for the film itself? It is a waste of time. Why? Isn’t that what “test screenings” were for? Not only that, but if a film is already released, it isn’t going to help (or hurt) the marketing of that film. I’m sorry—but people don’t go to movies because one dude picks his nose. One person laughs at a joke on the west coast. Another yawns at the same joke on the east. Does that help? No.

And what about my pet peeve regarding First run films showing up on VOD? It won’t have any effect on those films.

If you want to use the tech to catch pirates in the act, fine. If you want to use the tech to catch a knucklehead texting and talking on a cell phone in the middle of a movie and alert an usher to ask them to cease, fine. But targeting John and Jane Doe to see them how they slurp up soda or do some necking in the back row? Come on now.

Forget the distractions, and find the fools with the camcorders in the multplex. Because you want to see what “others” are up to, suggests that you aren’t that serious about piracy in the first place. Hey, you never know. John and Jane Doe making out in the back row might be more interesting to see on a viral site that another poor pirated version of SAW 3D.