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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Entertaining and Funny., 28 July 2016

Wow, I saw an Eight O'Clock showing in SF, and all I can say is that if you're a die-hard fanboy of the first Ghostbuster's movie, WHICH I SAW ON OPENING DAY, and you think that recasting the film was a bad idea (read that as a shot to your male ego or female hating female ego), then this is NOT, I repeat IS NOT, the movie for you.

On the other hand, if you're a little more open minded, understand that the first film way back in the 80s wasn't all that funny to begin with, regardless of how superficially entertaining it was to you, THEN might want to take a chance on this film

The real theme among users on the BBS and user reviews is that this film is somehow a "man hating" (referred to as "Misandry") affair.

I saw no such thing. There is one supporting character who plays the "pretty but dumb" secretary, but that's a little "turn-around is fair play". The women actually like him. I guess the reviewers and other posters missed that.

How unfortunate, and in this way disturbing.

Someone says they "contradict established continuity". Huh? Illogical since this is a remake. By definition the continuity within the film IS ITS OWN. I guess the fanboys missed that. Oh dear.

Someone claimed racism regarding the black woman. Admittedly she's pretty stereotypical, and stereotypes are parodied in media because they exist. But that doesn't make it racist. In fact she was probably the funnest character in the film.

Someone else claimed they ripped off "an original classic" ... well, DUH! It's a REMAKE.

And the negative comments keep coming. And, to be brutally honest, all of them stem from the absolute hatred of the women on the screen; from both sexes no less.

So, with all that, what do I think of the film? I thought it was great.

I didn't like the first one and its sequel all that much, and thought it was more ego than actual comedy. And, in fact, my very right leaning church going friend made that observation himself. An observation I agreed with after having been puzzled so long as to why I didn't like the film like a lot of OTHER males I knew.

Original Ghostbusters was about the male ego. Bill Murry has gotten cast in roles that either skid near or veer into a kind of misogyny. Meetballs, Stripes, Ghostbusters ... you name it. That's not to say that that's who he is, but he set the tone for the first Ghostbuster's film.

And this new one he plays the roll of the man he accused in the first film as ... how does one put it in a G-Rated context ... "lacking masculinity" (which got a great laugh from some of the audience). If he played the role of one of the bad guys that was in the first film, WHO WAS ALSO A MALE, then how is that man-hating?

The film revisits effects, and is a little more clever in explaining the genesis of the characters camaraderie and other details, and, UNLIKE the first Ghostbuster's movie, this one was actually scary at times.

And that's the things about the first Ghostbusters movie. For a film about ghosts you'd think there would be some kind of fright or horror aspect to it. But instead we got a bunch of matted in puppets via process shots that looked absolutely NOTHING like ghost of classic scary movies. In contrast, this Ghostbusters remake actually has a few scary scenes in it that'll make your heart skip a beat, but will also leave you smiling because of it.

Here's another dirty little secret about this movie, and that is girls like to see men make fools of themselves to earn the affection of those same women. So what some men may see as man- hating, it's more or less a kind of endearment towards men, because men put up with it (mostly, and only if there's romance involved) knowing the payoff at the end.

I think a lot of people missed that.

The effects were superior in this film, the jokes were funnier, the acting was actually on par (if a bit energetic, and somewhat overstated in areas) compared to the first Ghostbusters, and the story was about the same in terms of tone.

If I did have a nitpick with this film, then it's that the plot was a little too simple, and the villain just way too wooden. He was some shut in troll who was into the paranormal and all that it entails. And I did take a little exception at the Star Trek fan jab, because no fan of Trek would go near pseudo science, much less occultism, much less dress the part of one and indulge in the other. So yeah, that did get my hackles up, and I'm sure for a lot of other Trekkers and Trekkies who caught that comment.

The villain was one-dimensional, and his scheme also a little one-dimensional. I think that's the worst you can fault the story. The film might have been better served had there been some more history, more of a plot that had been vetted by more than one bad guy thrown in there, but the film works as is.

I just really can't imagine why there is so much vitriol over what is ostensibly a modern fantasy film.

I'm guessing it's because the naysayers know it's a better movie, and just simply don't want to acknowledge that.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
It's Star Wars for new generation., 24 July 2016

That's what I told the guy sitting next to me in the theatre in South San Francisco off of 280 when he and I exchanged some thoughts on the then new Star Wars film.

It was fun to see, but Disney's film is handicapped by the following; this film didn't come on the heels of 30+ years of ultra- serious dramas or very corny musicals, where sci-fi was a thing given to kiddies or the "brainiacs" or "nerds" who liked to engage in technical and scientific things, but who didn't date much (note the sexual undercurrent in a lot of sci-fi from the 50s and 60s).

Star Wars, the original 1977 feature film, had that benefit. There was 2001 Space Odyssey, Logan's Run the year before with its awful miniatures, and the Star Trek TV series that had been canceled a few years before, but effects technology at the time was more miss than hit, and the genre itself, other than classic Star Trek, really wasn't taken all that seriously. So when Star Wars hit the screen people were blown away by it.

The Force Awakens, or more specifically the people who made it, know they can't repeat those conditions that gave the 1977 film that "wow effect", so it steers more towards a graphic-novel like presentation, complete with emotional intrigue among the characters to try and compliment that large SFX wizardry that's presented on screen.

But that's kind of the draw back to The Force Awakens. It's a victim of its own circumstances where we have lots of effects heavy films in the Superhero genre and other tangential scifi sub-genres already tumbling out of Hollwood studios, one after the other. Therefore any visual bedazzlement from The Force Awakens needs to be fairly spectacular to compete with and against the other films. Do we get that? In some respect. The effects are impressive, but the story elements they're meant to accentuate, at times, seem a bit odd.

Storywise there's a real attempt to re-invent the basic story for the whole saga, taking some cues from graphic-novel story conventions. Which in turn gives the film a very 2000's kind of look and feel. The visual presentation and interweaving romantic- tension subplots is a very post 80's story telling style, of which I am not a fan. It is my opinion that the story is the story. A romance or sexual tension can be part of that story, but today is meant to run parallel to the main-story as a backdrop thread to appease those who have interests in such matters. The final summation implies that the romance is just as important as needing to defeat the bad guys or overcome the harrowing situation. And, to be brutally honest, both men and women know that that is not true in any situation where this is the setting.

And ultimately this is why I liked the film as a Sunday afternoon kind of affair; couch, summer-Sunday, window open, maybe the fan running slightly in the background, maybe your dog sleeping next to you or in a cool spot of the house, and you have this thing on at a low volume as you lay back and watch it with nothing else to do. To me that's the kind of movie this is.

It lacks grit, uses conventional modern Disney story telling styles to recirculate the death star plot from the 1977 feature film. And where 1977's film prepared my generation for social and personal challenges in a world that would increasingly rely on tech, this film posits more romantic and interpersonal preparation for a multi- ethnic world. To me that message is many days late and several dollars short.

The exit of a major character, the under-exposition of classic characters, a reliance on a plot already used, doesn't really add up to neither an outstanding nor poor film experience, but one that just happens to be. It's almost like a social commentary on what already is, and a warning against the regurgitation of past ideologies.

My last observation is that this is aimed at the teen-aged children of the teenagers and pre-teens who saw the film way back in 1977. Which I think makes for an odd film making and directorial style, because we're not exposed to classic film making here, but someone's idea of what today's teens want to see. That includes that exit of a major character, which seemed hammy and nearly anti-climactic; i.e. no "disturbances in the force" was felt because of this. A dramatic moment that felt like a real over the top story point that had no emotional impact, as it should have.

I guess the best one could say is that if Disney had produced Star Wars, then this is the result we would get. I think that's the fairest statement anyone can make, and all that it implies.

Watch at your risk, but maybe relax while doing so.

Respectable series finale to the classic Trek films., 23 July 2016

None of the Star Trek feature films have been what one would call great art, even though they were entertaining at times. They had the disadvantage of needing to appeal to not just Star Trek fans, but also to a larger audience who did not know what Star Trek is all about.

But ST VI breaks that mold some, and gives us an actual ST episode that looks at Star Fleet itself. Star Trek has always had a kind of law and order bent to it, and so it is that we have a mystery driving the plot and story forward. And we also a slightly more classic feel of ST as we know it in terms of story and characters.

Here the characters act as their characters in the TV series of old. We don't necessarily see the total dynamic of how they interacted during times of crisis in the TV series, but we do see them in their roles as they progress through the adventure.

The story itself comes close to skidding into Spockanian "illogic", because both Kirk and McCoy aren't really given much to do in terms of the overall story. In fact one wonders where this story element came from, and one wishes that perhaps a veteran on the writing team had given the Captain and the ship's Chief Surgeon something a bit more compelling to do, or with perhaps a different set of plot and story points during act II.

The powers that be, in my not so humble opinion, probably had six films scheduled until the new TV series could take hold, and then the feature films would focus on the defunct and tragically crippled "Star Trek the Next Generation".

As far as the minutiae of Trek-details go, well, there's lots for the fans to argue about in terms of the setting, props and general zeitgeist. Me, as a die-hard "dyed in the wool" fan, I don't have too many bones to pick with this film, other than wonder why this amount of script doctoring and film doctoring could not have been given to the previous films. I think both fans and general movie goers deserved it.

So why wasn't it done? Simply put the Kirk-Spock era, at the time, was probably seen as working overtime, and the Trek powers that were probably thought that Picard and crew would take hold in the hearts and minds of classic and neo-Trek fans alike. But, as time and criticism has shown, this is not so, and the fault lies on the deliberate sociological and social-psychologists who tried to rework the general setting of Star Trek until it was broken.

And now, at the time of this writing, the last of the three JJ Abrams "Trek" films is in the theatre, where the characters are played somewhat as caricatures of the original crew. One should note that these films are making a kind of over-the-top "hearkening back" to what mister Abrams believes classic Trek fans think of Star Trek.

This fan says he's got it wrong, and should have watched ST VI, but this classic Trek fan also realizes that mister Abrams is making a film for a younger generation. Which is even more curious given the directing style and overall thrust, feel and look of the films.

But getting back to ST VI, it is a film for the fans, and a kind of tribute to both show and the fans who supported it. In a sense ST 1 to ST VI were the missing infamous 4th season. And having the entire crew on the bridge with classic Sound FX and the classic tune humming in the background, was a good send off and tribute to both show and the fans who were there from the beginning with the family and friends manually hand cranking a cathode ray tube TV dial to see what Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise were up to every week.

But again, all in all, ST VI, even though it's meant more for the fans than the general public, feels a little weak and marginally off kilter in execution. The space sequences could have been sharper. The location sequences could have been shot differently with a different story, but, that's neither here nor there. The creative team picked a certain script, shot it, and we're given what they produced.

Not a bad film, but for a series finale, it could have been "bigger" without over-blowing the story to another "save the galaxy / universe" kind of tripe so frequent in other sci-fi shows and films.

All in all a decent watch. I would have shot it differently, but that's another post for another time.

Leonard Nimoy was incorrect. It's not about the relationships..., 17 July 2016

Star Trek's premise is that the challenges that we as a society meet, can be overcome (if only for the moments) with knowledge and understanding.

If you look at every episode from the first three seasons of this wonderful show you'll find some unexplained threat that the crew must tackle with the best of their ability, and overcome or otherwise deal with. And it effects them professionally and to some lesser degree, personally. If you look at ST 2 that's why it was such a success, aside from the fact that it had some action to appeal to the conservative Trek fans. It's the same reason why The Motion Picture seemed to peter out, because the plot didn't drive the story enough.

So when ST III and ST IV roll around, we're given some fairly quick story telling with little in the way of exploring the mechanics of the world that are driving the action, and, unlike classic Trek, find out what they mean.

ST IV was an okay film that was entertaining. It was a huge success because a lot of the women, women who are into the whole relationship thing, saw the characters interacting with one another. But the show wasn't about the characters and how they related (unless it dealt with the plot), the show was about facing unknown threats, and the interaction of the characters allowed them to overcome those threats and obstacles.

ST IV hardly has any of that. It's a story about the characters skipping through a story. Oh sure, it's charming directorially, but the sense of peril or tension that might have been in a typical episode is truly missing here.

Ergo, it's not a good Star Trek show, but an okay entertaining sci- fi film that happens to have Star Trek as a backdrop. And that's about as good as anyone can say about it. If it had been a ST TV episode, then there would have been more focus on the aliens, the whales, what their relationship was, and everything else. But because it's Nimoy directing, and he likes relationships between characters, we get this light hearted character driven romp that really has little to nothing to offer the Star Trek fan.

When I saw it in the theatre and left, and then heard my friends and their parents talk about how much they loved the film (and they were not fans), all they could talk about was how "they" (producers, directors and the whole creative team) "got back to the characters".

Eh, well, the byplay between McCoy and Spock that we witness in the TV show was a function of the story and plot. It wasn't put there strictly to show off how much at odds they were, though that was part of it, but to show their different views and approaches to the same dilemma or problem. You didn't tune in to watch Spock and McCoy go at it, though that could be fun if it happened, but to see what the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise was doing to tackle another threat to them or the ship or both or something bigger. That's why you tuned in!

We don't know who or what the alien is. We don't know what they want. We have no idea what their connection is to the whales. Why are they wreaking havoc on the planet, because they can't find any humpback whales? Well, okay, if that's the case, then why?! All of these questions would have been answered had a more traditional director helmed the thing. But, oh well. WE have what we have.

Truth be told I'm not sure exploring humpback whales, as magnificent a creature that they are, would have made for good story fodder. In that case, then maybe there was a better script to be shot somewhere.

Nimoy was a decent thespian, but even though he played the iconic Mister Spock, he had little clue as to why certain films get made and others don't.

Watch at your own risk.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
If Kubrick's 2001 had a good ending., 24 June 2016

Who can forget Kubrick's visual rendition of Arthur C. Clarke's "2001 s Space Odyssey", with it's incredibly impressive visual effects. Effects that predate CGI by several decades, and hold up to this very day.

But Kubrick's masterpiece (one of many) had an ambiguous if not downright ethereal, puzzling, and some might venture "supernatural" ending to a film whose final stages were nearly uninterpretable if you did not know the actual story Clarke had written.

Interstellar takes that same kind of story vibe, but goes the distance with an ending that's a little more palatable. Only Interstellar is not the masterpiece that Kurbrick's film was. Like a lot of corporate "art" meant for mass consumption, the casting, the story, the production value elements, to me, come across as being the product of market research.

It's a hollow film that tries to put heart into a story that really doesn't have a heart. Instead there's an emotional plot regarding the separation and reunion of family members after a crisis separates them.

One tries to be forgiving of liberties taken with stories, but there really weren't any liberties taken here. If the male lead wasn't cast because of market research, then I don't know what is. In short, that's exactly why he was cast, and why his voice was modulated. And why the dialogue for the "hero characters" is pithy and filled with zingers as they talk to one another about technical matters.

I really was groaning. Why is it that films like Secretariat, ostensibly a NON-Science-Fiction movie hold my attention, me, a big science fiction fan, and yet when a sci-fi movie comes around, I can barely stand the thing? Why is that?

It's because of the aforementioned reasons.

Years back I went and saw the remake of Solaris. It was far more tangible and palatable than the Russian film, but suffered very minor parallel mis steps of Interstellar. All the computers and technical stuff were nice and shiny. Well, okay, but the characters don't know everything, nor are they caught in the dark with predictable plot twists, like Interstellar, nor are they partially reliant on massive CGI vistas, as per Interstellar.

Interstellar has a lot going for it, but it's all the result of corporate research, and not the product of artistry. The director was told what script to shoot, the script itself was vetted, and you can see just looking at it that there was someone standing by making sure elements A, B and C were tossed into this film to make sure X, Y and Z marks were hit.

I remember from my boyhood watching "First Men in the Moon". It's an impossible tale about Victorian adventurers going to the moon to discover its wonders. Nothing there attempts to be scientifically accurate. Far from it. But it's a convincing and entertaining visual tale (for the time anyway ... the effects may be somewhat dated for younger viewers). But, as a film, it delivered.

Interstellar feels like a very empty experience regardless of the technical wizardry and everything else that got dumped into it. I'm glad I didn't see it in the theatre, and I'm glad I was able to stream it for free off of Amazon.

A better film would have done away with all the attempts to mimic past "realistic" sci-fi, and stuck with the story. A better film would not have had to make a point of educating the audience on black holes. A better film would not have used all the god-awful cinematography and audio junk to appease to various audiences.

To me Interstellar is the scifi equivalent of a politician who promises everything to everybody, and winds up delivering nothing in the end. Predictable and not worth the money.

Watch at your own risk.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Well shot, huge in scope., 22 June 2016

I had seen this movie a few times on broadcast TV when I was growing up, but never caught the whole thing. It was simply too long, and when the ending did come it seemed rather anti-climactic.

The cinematography is quite impressive, and being shot on 65mm one can't help but be impressed with the capturing of images. Beyond that I don't have too many things to say about this film. Really good movies that I like I tend to heap praises on, but for all of the superior quality this film retains, I'm not a huge fan of it other than from a technical standpoint.

Thomas Edward Lawrence tackles Arabian tribalism and factionalization as he fights the Ottoman Empire and its allies in the First World War over chunks of the Middle East. The area that would become Isreal, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and so forth. The film looks at the emotional trials and tribulations of a British army officer attempting to tackle and mend ancient rifts in order to form a cohesive functioning Arab political unit.

And we all know how well that worked out. But, to be fair, the movie can only give us so much as to the hows and whys of why we have the Middle East as it is today, and sticks primarily with the emotional saga that Thomas Lawrence went through in fighting wars on all fronts.

In the mid 1990s I saw a documentary that explored Thomas Lawrence's personal life, and apparently, according to either a journal entry or some correspondence, Lawrence had some sexual fetishes which, for the time, would seem to socially unacceptable. The film, if you didn't know this, plays this off as Gitmo-like encounter, where Lawrence is forever changed (negatively) by the experience. According to the film.

And I guess that's why I don't connect with the film. Typically the more damaged a soldier gets the more he wants out of whatever war he's been asked to fight. So, make of that what you will.

I think one of the reasons I don't take a shine to this movie is because it doesn't have a good ending. It doesn't explore Lawrence himself. He's a British subject, and not much else. We're given a stock male from the UK who has a passion to see his mission succeed, but realizes his assignment is fraught with social obstacles. When I think of other epics, like Kurosawa's late comer "RAN" or one of the Civil War films or Roman era epics, you get a sense of who the people are, and identify with them. I'm not so sure that many people identify with Thomas Edward Lawrence. Maybe initially, but certainly not in the latter stages of the film.

So if you come away from the film impressed, but a little empty on a subconscious level, you're not alone.

Enjoy, but watch at your own risk.

Batman (1989)
Moronic, 17 June 2016

Michael Keaton was cast in this film as a social psychology measure to keep young good looking and wealthy tough guys with a chip on their shoulder, from spending their money on gadgets, training and weapons, and then donning a costume to go out and fight crime.

Moronic, but true.

Michael Keaton is not over six feet tall, does not have classic northern European chiseled features, nor muscles like an athlete. He is not GQ magazine cover material (though he's probably had his picture put there).

I read some of the Batman comics, but I simply couldn't get into them. The characters were all dark and borderline macabre at times, with a strong dash of psychotic bad guys. That's what the comic book is intended for; to rope in the kid who may be on the edge and needs a little law and order guidance in his life. That's what the various Batman comics do, show, and thereby instruct.

I was never a bit reader of the Batman comic, but knew enough about it to know who and what Bruce Wayne was. So imagine my surprise when the film is announced, and Michael Keaton is cast in the lead role, with what's her name as the damsel in distress. Jack Nicholson does a superb job of playing a psyched out and psychotic bad guy, but the film is so odd, off kilter, and just plain idiotic, that it's a wonder it got made at all.

But there's a real fear in America that comic book figures will inspire more than just polite behavior, so a piece of trash film like this gets made to sort of subtlety trash Bruce Wayne's alter ego. How moronic.

I call it moronic because probably less than a thousandth of a percent of people who read comic books and see films based on them, give serious contemplation to putting on a costume and going after bad guys in the real world. But there's a few nut cases out there, and this film is partially aimed at them to settle down and stay home.

If I had shot it I would have just cast the best good looking leading man I could find, and make sure he hit his marks and said his lines with conviction. I would not have made the film so obviously campy, and probably give a detective feel to the whole thing. That as opposed to the half baked slop-artist rendition that we've given.

Maybe someday.

In the meantime, watch at your own risk.

It's decent, 13 June 2016

I had heard Mel Blanc's rendition of Daffy's Rhapsody somewhere in the distant past ... on a lazy Sunday afternoon or something on a radio or TV station that doesn't exist anymore. And then I had heard it once or twice more over the years, and again, the source escapes me.

And, as of 30 seconds before writing this review, I saw an illegal YouTube upload of WB's CGI toon with the same name; "Daffy's Rhapsody".

I have to admit right here and now I think CGI is okay for lots of things, but CGI doesn't add to the texture of the classic WB characters, nor does it really take anything away from them. It's just a different way of viewing them.

Having said that, I can't say I found this too amusing. There's been lots of attempts at rediscovering the comedic animation formulas the classic WB animators used to make their incredibly funny and highly entertaining cartoons. Todays animators, over the last 20 years, have tried to speed up the animation and compensate for poor writing with quick gag delivery. PIXAR's shorts are notorious for this.

What made the classic WB cartoons (and occasionally the classic Disney cartoon) funny was that they had good writing and direction. And by that I mean the creative forces really let themselves go with the notion of "Wouldn't it be funny ..." And no topic was too sacred; suicide, sex, war, starvation, taxes, infidelity, cross dressing, divorce, child care, and homicide in various aspects. You don't really think of those things in their proper context when you see these cartoons because, hey, if you did, you'd drive yourself nuts.

Comedy is knowing that you're not dumb enough to let misfortune happen to you. It's why you laugh when you see some guy obliviously drive his car into a brick wall, knowing full well that it's coming and doing it with a smile on his face. YOU certainly wouldn't do that. Would you? In a cartoon sense we spare his life (or maybe not) and the audience his grizzly fate by keeping out the blood and gore and other gory details of his fate, and instead show him a little roughed up, but probably otherwise fully functional as he staggers from his destroyed vehicle. That's comedy. He either died or was seriously injured, and if he died then it was clean and he was done away with some comedic honors.

But you don't get any of that in today's cartoons. It's all quick delivery of socially expedient gags which aren't funny 99% of the time.

And that's kind of what this is. Mel's song as he voices Daffy Duck is funny without the animation. We know the character, and hearing him go on about how and why he's hunted and his frustration of why hunters don't go after other animals, all syncopated to a classic score, IS THE JOKE. Adding animation to it, CGI no less, puts a grin on my face, but it's almost like reanimating "Duck Amuck", which I'm sure someone is planning already.

An A for effort, but I've seen better.

Outstanding, 12 June 2016

I'm reminded of all the times I was out in the wilderness with friends, family, and on my own when viewing this video. Like others, I first saw this (the first in a series) on Public Broadcasting, and it reminded me of all of the times I watched or encountered animals out in national and state parks.

Richard Proeneke's wood working and carpentry skills are superb, and his masonry skills and total outdoor knowledge allow him to create artifacts necessary for survival with support from the outside world.

It is a magnetic production in spite of its primitive quality. The relatively primitive 16mm footage gathered by Proeneke's Bolex camera acts as a window to look at how mankind in the 1950s looked at nature's expanse in the North American continent. It is in fact the view of the first European pioneers, Indians, and even Paleo- Native Americans. You are looking at Alaska's wilderness in the raw.

We see how Proeneke carves out his niche in Alaska after suffering an accident on the job that almost cost him his eyesight. But we are strictly focused on his experience. We don't get to see too many of his interpretations of wild life groups; i.e. flocks of birds or herds or packs of animals and so forth. He touches on certain animals, but his priority is survival, and even though he does keep track of animals for his own personal curiosity, we are not privy to those records.

I was drawn to this piece because it reminded me of all the times I was out under the stars and among the rocks, trees, grass and mountains, with a running source of fresh water splashing over rocks. It reminds one of a simpler time, and of a place where you don't have to worry about keeping up with the Joneses, nor satisfying the misses, nor impressing anyone else with anything.

What is more impressive is that Richard Proeneke, with his simple living, was not sick a single day. Fresh fish, biscuits, berries, and whatever else he could scrounge up (mostly; he did import some food supplies) served as his "fuel".

One is led to wonder what if he had been a more contemplative man. Would he had been as patient and productive, or would the tasks of survival, even with his knowledge, have overwhelmed him? One wonders.

Definitely a must watch for the outdoors man in all Americans.

Not quite how the actual industry works...., 22 May 2016

I was in the midst of my own film career when this movie hit the theatres, and I went and saw it with a friend who in actuality turned out to be an actor (he had been assigned to me).

Nick goes through a typical Hollywood story of succumbing to temptation, and leaving behind all he values for what he believes is success, but finds that he never lost what he thought he had, and winds up a better person and film maker for it.

The movie is a kind of skewering of the Hollywood system, but it's all done in jest. The truth is the indy film maker is noted for his skill level and artistic intelligence based upon his work, and then offered assignments based on that grading. Believe it or not most directors do commercials and industrial training videos, not feature films.

It is a delightful film, and I had a gander at it on bluray since I first saw it at the Kabuki in San Francisco all those years ago, and it holds up well. For the first time in ages I found myself cheering and booing at Nick Chapman (Pee-Wee / Hustler dolly), and for some reason found myself very satisfied with the ending of a movie.

The film is essentially one man's story as an aspiring director, and has lots of funny moments, but doesn't show you some of the regular everyday hard work that goes on and off the set, because making movies is a job like anything else.

I don't have too much else to say about it, other than for the first time in years I actually enjoyed a movie without feeling the need to tear it apart on all levels.

A good watch. Give it a whirl on the player.

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