Thursday, March 17, 2005

Bad Film Week

With Jaru away at sasshin for seven days I'm taking the opportunity to see practically any movie that falls under the action or horror genre, irrespective of their critical or popular acclaim.

So far I've seen Cursed, Boogeyman, and Hostage. I liked Hostage best of the bunch, though there's this weird plot-bump towards the end.

One thing I was really curious about was why Boogeyman did about twice as well as Cursed at the box office. Cursed has everything going for it, better name recognition off the actors, a Wes Craven/Kevin Williamson film, higher budget, and so on. Moreover, if you look at the ratings on IMDB it's even got better popular reviews.

Maybe it's that Cursed came at the tail end of about six weeks of horror releases (next year it'll likely even be worse as the January/February bracket is flooded with horror flicks).

But I also think it has something to do with one lesson I learned losing money self-publishing game books: concept is king. People won't even check your stuff out unless it's got a hook that makes them curious.

I think what happened is that Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson got together and said "let's do a good old fashioned werewolf film" and the audience said: "What? It looks like just another werewolf film." I know that's what slowed me down in seeing it.

My guess is that it'll be even more difficult than the current "impossible-unless-you're-Wes Craven" to sell a werewolf script nowadays.

Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing that we trim back even more on the werewolf films. Personally, I'm fond of werewolves -- they're cool. But the movies always seem to be let-downs.

After seeing Cursed I think part of the reason they're let-downs is that the werewolf always looks so cheesy. Even now with all the high-tech CGI and highly paid graphic artists the werewolf looks like a fuzzy, plump guy wearing a carpet. The morphing bits are often excellent -- but the werewolves just don't cut it. If anyone has some examples of movies with actually cool-looking werewolves in it I'd be pleased to hear them. The only one I can really come up with is Wolfen, but that's not quite a werewolf movie in the same way as the others.

To balance out the bad movies, I also bought some DVDs: Miller's Crossing, Fargo, and The Maltese Falcon. Those films can balance out a lot of bad.

Monday, March 14, 2005

City of Heroes Update

Sung requested I update the city of Heroes information so that everyone in our group can keep some sort of track of who's online and what they're playing.

City of Heroes
: we're on the Liberty Server

Steve's Heroes:

Sung's Heroes:

George's Heroes:


John's Heroes:
Captain Jimmy
Bent Space

Jerome's Heroes:
Obsidian Bane

Note: to add any of the heroes above to your CoH friends list, type in the chat window:

/friend hero name
Eg: /friend Fire'Lord

I'll also update my World of Warcraft information:

World of Warcraft

Eonar Server:

Steve's Characters [Horde]:

Feathermoon Server

Steve's Characters [Alliance]:

I mainly play Trespass since the Eonar server is easier to get on and a little less crowded, though its population is getting up there too.

Finally, in the "no news means it's sinking into the Abyss" category I've still heard nothing from any of the producers or director. On the other hand, it is Hollywood and the same incomprehensible forces that can explode a project in 96 hours can rebuild it in something like that time.

In a -- perhaps unrelated -- bit of news, one of the other companies that was interested in making The Sound emailed me on Thursday. They emailed out of the blue last October as well, but, from what I understand, the business is a little gossipy so I figure there's a decent chance they've heard things.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Silence?

In the spirit of full access I thought I'd post something now, when the matters are still up in the air.

Last week the head guys dumped the entire production staff, the people I was originally working with. However, they kept the director and quickly called me to say that the film was still going forward, and that it would actually enter pre-production a little earlier but might be delayed by two weeks for filming.

I suspect this had to do with creative differences within the producing group -- which, frankly, just seems odd -- but it could also be wholly political.

Then, on Friday, I found out (unconfirmed) that the boss wanted to delay filming by another 3 months, so the director quit the project.

When bad things happen everyone stops talking to me. I believe there's some complex legal stuff involved but who knows. Anyway, the quiet is something of a confirmation of the unconfirmed report. However, it's also a sign that they're all probably wrangling over the weekend and perhaps into next week -- when I'll finally receive another call that will either pretend that nothing happened or tell me that the project is in serious delay (since finding a new director would easily add another three months in addition to the existing delays).

I also suspect that a collapse of this magnitude might incur some lawsuits -- which would probably mean that the project is completely done for until the option agreement expires.

Regardless, this is probably good training for how volatile this business can and will be. I'm disappointed of course, but not as bad as I could be because I'm rather pleased with a new script I just finished.