Friday, January 16, 2015

Last Chance - Sizzle Reel (Starring Renee O'Connor)

From Morning Person Pictures, starring Renee O'Connor, best known as Gabrielle from Xena: Warrior Princess

This looks good. It will be nice to see Renee O'Connor in what looks to be a meaty role.

Carrie, a woman who escaped her own violent past, is newly introduced to the “LCO” (Last Chance Org) by Marnie, a gutsy ex-cop who now reluctantly runs this sort of vigilante underground that helps people break away from desperate situations. Carrie and Marnie work with a team that include volunteers from both sides of the law; from a mouthy hacker, a lawyer, a bitter police captain, a bounty hunter, etc., each bringing their own issues to the table.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The creator of the Lost in Space robot and Robby the Robot passes away

The creator of the Lost in Space robot and Robby the Robot passed away on December 9th at 100 years old.

Robby the Robot, Will Robinson (Bill Mumy) and The Robot

Lost in Space episode 20 
"War of the Robots" 

Irwin Allen hired Kinoshita as art director for Lost in Space. Kinoshita designed both the Jupiter 2 (the spaceship) and the robot who's famous for always shouting, “Danger, Will Robinson!”

Monday, January 12, 2015

Did Boyhood deserve the Golden Globe for Best Drama?

Wow, I liked the movie Boyhood, but no way thought it deserved a Golden Globe for Best Drama. Nomination, sure, but to win? Did they view the competition?

There were definitely issues with being filmed over 12 years. For those that don't know Boyhood was shot over 12 years so that the boy could age naturally from 6 - 18. Some of those years they shot for only a few days, and it showed. It was obvious they didn't get the coverage they needed and some of the story transitions were jarring and felt like pieces were missing. The story is simple: follow a boy as he grows up with divorced parents, alcoholic step-parents and basic crap kids deal with. I loved the concept and looked forward to seeing it.

I enjoyed it. It was cool seeing the same actors over time aging normally. But then I asked myself what would I think of the movie had that "cool" aspect not been there. Honestly, I'd think it was okay but didn't have a fully enough developed story. Rough edits and a real lack of transitions relying on the "aging" actors to tell you time passes hurt the film. There are times (ages approx 9-11) you can't tell the difference. So did time go by? Wait what happened to so-an-so? These are the questions you wind up asking. Honestly, I still have no idea if some of the events were over one, two or three years. Simple visual or dialogue used for time transitions in most films would have solved that issue.

At one point the step-father forces the boy to cut his hair. It's a painful scene and later when the boy tells his mom why he's so upset she cries and apologizes. (She was told he wanted the haircut.) Yet the next scenes, step-dad long gone, the boy has the same short hair-cut, grown in but short. Is that supposed to show how much time went by? Your hair would grow a lot more in a year, so did he decide he liked the short hair? Then suddenly he's grown a lot more and you know either more than a year went by or the last few "years" he looked the same, or he grew a lot over the year. All very feasible. Which is it? I don't know. I could go watch again and look for clues but my point is should I have to? If it's jarring enough to take you out of the movie then there's an issue.(If you look at the pictures above there are a few in the middle where he looks the same, only slight hair changes. I didn't catch those subtle hair changes upon first viewing which made it look like all the same time frame to me. Patricia Arquette's hair changes helped show a new year but she wasn't always first on screen when the time changed, and some of them were also subtle.)

In storytelling there's a point to everything. That's why "based on real life" dramas are dramatized. So that in a two hour movie you have a distinct storyline. Sometimes Boyhood felt like a "based on real life" movie without the dramatization. Boyhood had moments of childhood with the only real flow-through story being the mother, not the boy. (It's not actually based on a real life. I'm just giving an example of what it feels like.) Now, as I said this is a decent movie, worth watching. I just feel it could have been so much better if the details of the story were maintained better, had a better flow.

After watching it I learned that there was a lot of writing on the fly, no complete storyline. Understandable when they didn't know year to year if they'd get everyone (actors) that they wanted/needed, but never good for movie making.

Great innovative movie making? Yes.
Great acting by the adults? Yes, well the two leads. Patricia Arquette deserved supporting actress which she did indeed win.
Great story? I'd say decent not great.

Overall a movie worth streaming. Especially with the knowledge of how it was made. But Golden Globe worthy? Which is saying that it's Oscar worthy. No, not in my opinion.