Who Watches The Watchmen?

February 20th, 2009

resized I'm popping Excedrin like they're M&Ms. Worse, I'm washing down my beloved acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine concoction with a thirteen dollar beer.

Aaaaaaaaah, Los Angeles.

I landed thirty-two hours ago, and drove straight to the Pacific Design Center where we were taping our movie show, "Spoilers." Episode two features the cast of "Watchmen," including Billy Crudup ("Almost Famous"), Jackie Earle Haley ("The Bad News Bears"), and Patrick Wilson ("Beautiful Children"), plus director Zack Snyder ("300"). My Chemical Romance also ...

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Twenty-four Hours Of “Twilight”

November 8th, 2008

resizedThe red eye may be as close as we get to time travel. Without it, there's far less of a chance that I would have volunteered to fly to Los Angeles for twenty-four hours (well, 12 in the air, and 12 in L.A., anyway).

What would motivate such a trip at the end of a week that included my ninth New York City Marathon and twenty straight hours of election coverage? Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight."

At one point this summer, all four novels in Meyer's "Twilight" series topped USA Today's top seller's list. She's sold more than 17 million copies ...

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Don’t You (Forget About Me)

July 23rd, 2008

resizedIn an era of increasingly brazen, callous, and heartless sell-outs, perhaps no capitalist re-appropriation has incensed me like this one.

I'm speaking, of course, of the JCPenney back-to-school ad that has dozens of sporty-looking, hoodie-wearing, completely-adjusted teenagers aping moves from John Hughes' coming-of-age classic, "The Breakfast Club."

Ask my wife; I screamed for twenty seconds when I first saw it.

While some desparage Hughes' genre-defining film for its implicit message of conformity (Ally Sheedy, you'll recall, ...

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In Search of Paradise

July 22nd, 2008

resizedSave for a few nights traversing the Midwest on his former 1985 Eagle Classic tour bus, I have little affinity for Marvin Lee Aday, aka Meat Loaf.

Still, I was thrilled when I spotted his brand-new documentary, "Meat Loaf: In Search of Paradise," was on the MSG Network last night. (My wife, in contrast, was less enthused, so I set the DVR, continued reading New York Magazine until "The Closer" ended.) I turned it up, locked it in, and leaned back...

Meat Loaf's "Bat Out Of Hell" is one of the best-selling albums of all time, moving ...

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Daylight Is Coming (And No One Is Watching But Me)

June 6th, 2008

resizedIn 1910, director D.W. Griffith and his acting troop (Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore, amongst others) were sent west by the Biograph Company. There, in a small village named after landowner Harvey Wilcox's summer home, Griffith filmed the first movie ever shot in Hollywood, "In Old California."

Movie-makers began heading west in droves, largely to avoid fees imposed by Thomas Edison, who owned patents on the movie-making process, but moreover by the the mild climate, varied scenery, and reliable sunlight.

Though Warner ...

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“Mister Rogers & Me” In 25 Words Or Less?

May 20th, 2008

resizedI've been drafting our Independent Film Week application as Chris fine tunes our submission.

We've made some elegant revisions tonight, including the addition of a cute piece of footage of Ethan and me, some evocative driving b-roll, and a song by Davy Rothbart's brother's band, The Poem Adept, "Bear & Raccoon" (though we haven't officially asked Peter's permission yet).

Thing about non-linear editing is that there's no track record of what was, only what is. The project evolves before our eyes. That is, when my eyes aren't on this ...

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Extra Pickles, As Always

May 14th, 2008

resizedYears ago, when I was recording the first of two albums ("Almost Home" and "Love & Other Indoor Games") at my pal Kevin Anthony's Control One Studios, I began most sessions with a delicious, toasty Turkey Ranch Sub from Quiznos on 23d Street.

Tonight, Chris and I are editing just a few blocks from there, so I reprised the ritual... with extra pickles, as always.

The neighborhood feels a little different. Madison Square Park (where I recorded the city sounds you hear throughout my cover of John Denver's "Leaving on a Jet Plane"), for ...

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A Ghost Of Hearts

April 8th, 2008

resizedLike a lot of guys of my generation, Chris Suchorsky's mind was blown by "The Empire Strikes Back." What distinguished Chris most of the rest of us, though, was how geeked out he was by the making-of documentary he saw on HBO.

When Chris saw Kevin Smith's no-budget, 1994 Sundance phenomena, "Clerks," he wanted in on his New Jersey neighbor's racket. A self-described "typical everyday Slacker, C student," he doubled up and even audited film classes at Seton Hall. Once graduated, he began working in advertising, saving money, and writing his ...

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Oscar Awesomeness

February 21st, 2008

resized My day job includes oversight of MTV.com Movies (hence last month's sojourn to the Sundance Film Festival).

Our movies coverage was an outgrowth of our news.

Chris Connelly's "The Big Picture" had long since established MTV News' presence in the movies space on television in the late '90s, as MTVNews.com was hitting a stride in strict music coverage, it lacked representation online. During that time, my colleague, Robert Mancini, and I were spending out brief lunchtime trolling the Internet for trailers. At some point, we turned to ...

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Benjamin Braddock, Holden Caulfield & Me

February 19th, 2008

resized There's a great article in Vanity Fair's Hollywood Issue on the making of one of my all-time favorite film's, The Graduate.

Of course, the film, released in 1967, somehow captured the zeitgeist of the late '60s, especially the generation gap between parents weened on Eisenhower-era prosperity and optimism, and their increasingly disillusioned kids; Kennedy had been assassinated, MLK, RFK would soon follow, and Vietnam and Nixon were all just getting good (which is to say, bad).

And of course, the film, an adaptation of Charles Webb's ...

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