Q & A    Archive
Page 141

Name: Angel
E-mail: aesparz2@depaul.edu

Dear Josh,

Great revew of 'Sideways'. I'd always referred to it as "The Merlot of Film". Like so many current filmakers, Alexander Payne just gets worse and worse as he goes along. I think his first film 'Citizen Ruth' is easily his best. It's at least interesting. 'Election' held my interest for a short while then just grew too convoluted as it went. 'About Schdmidt' and 'Sideways' are the same movie. Someone wth nothing hits the road to find something and doesn't (unless you're Alexander Payne, then he finds everything). It even seems that Payne didn't know how to end 'Sideways' and just tacked on the last five pages of 'About Schmidt'.

Keep writing, we'll keep reading.

Sincerely,
Angel

Dear Angel:

I totally agree, "Citizen Ruth," to a certain extent, and the first 2/3 of "Election" are his best stuff, and "Schmidt" and "Sideways" just blow. I must say that I have problems with "Ruth," even though I liked what it was saying, I think it's too broadly drawn and two-dimensional, so I never believed the characters. I mean, all Ruth wants to do is sniff glue. Period. That's a thinly-drawn character. I mean, I liked sniffing glue when I was 13, but I had other interests, too, like taking LSD, and smoking pot, and movies. I even collected coins.

Josh

Name: Jeff Alede
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

Have you been watching "Rome" on HBO? Would you recommend it?

Dear Jeff:

I have been watching "Rome," and no, I wouldn't recommend it. I thought it was pretty good for the first three episodes, when Michael Apted was directing and Bruno Heller was writing, but from ep #4 on it's been other people, and by #7 I thought they'd jumped the shark.

Josh

Name: Jeremy Milks
E-mail: admin@homecomingcreations.com

Dear Josh:

Just out of curiosity, did you ever watch the show "Becker" starring Ted Danson?

The only reason I ask is because if I saw a show on TV called "Milks" I'd watch it for that very reason. I might not continue watching it, but I'd give it a look.

Dear Jeremy:

I've never seen it. I wouldn't watch a sit-com if they gave away money.

Josh

Name: DS
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

Well, there was a theme in the "Sideways" score (that appeared throughout the film) that reminded me of Nino Rota, even if most of the score was just sort of combo jazz. Then again, I liked the film, so that must have helped. But yes, Danny Elfman's "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" is the first and the best of the Rota homages that have since plagued many comedies over the years (and Elfman is a much better composer than Rolfe Kent, whose best score is "Sideways," so...). And I don't just think of circus music when I think of Rota and Fellini, I also think of jazz (particularly in "La Dolce Vita") and even big band. Rota had an enormous talent of combining different music styles into his scores.

On another note, you might be happy to know that Ennio Morricone is still scoring 5-7 films a year, which is insane (most of them are foreign films, many made for Italian television). I comend his drive at such an elderly age to give us beautiful music.

Have any recent scores in film impressed you (even if you didn't like the film)?

Dear DS:

As much as I admired Nino Rota's music, many of his Fellini scores are little more than circus music. I have a CD of Rota's Fellini scores, and they almost all sound the same -- circus music. But given half a chance, Nino Rota could do anything, like "The Godfather" or "Romeo and Juliet." No recent scores come to mind off hand. Meanwhile, Ennio Morricone has literally scored hundreds of films, and may be ready to enter the Guiness Book of World Records.

Josh

Name: Saul Trabal
E-mail: ghost_kingdom@yahoo.com

Josh,

I downloaded Renee O' Connor's short film-ONE WEEKEND A MONTH-and after viewing it, I'm glad I didn't go to the film festival in my neighborhood to catch it.

In other words-I didn't like the film AT ALL.

The main problem with this film is that the subject matter is WAAAAAAAAY too complex to try and deal with in 10 minutes. Who's Meg, really? Why should I care about her? Who am I REALLY supposed to believe? Meg, in terms of her fear over leaving the kids with her stepfather/father/whatever, or her mother?

Too many questions left unanswered. Renee was wasted on this film, IMO.

If anyone else wishes to see it, go here:

http://www.reneeoconnorfanclub.com/video.html

Saul

Dear Saul:

It's a good acting piece for Renee, and it gave me a sense of what a bitch it would be to be called up for National Guard service in Iraq. I could live without all of the jump-cutting, but it's not a bad little film: it's believable, emotional and dramatic. You certainly can't answer all the questions in a ten-minute short, but it gives you something to think about. And Renee's a good actor.

Josh

Name: August
E-mail: joxerfan@hotmail.com

Dear Josh,

Thought you might be interested to know that a site called "Box Office Prophets" gave "Alien Apocalypse" a decent review - it can be seen at http://www.boxofficeprophets.com/column/index.cfm?columnID=9233 .

I think the reviewer was not entirely paying attention the entire time - the lumber-yard o' death is described as "a very convincing replica of a 19th-century Old West fort," and Bruce's escape is described as "... Hood intervenes in the punishment of an older man by one of the insectoids; after quite an engrossing fight scene, Hood kills the insectoid, something none of the humans believed could be done. This causes a general revolt..."

That's an awfully curvy blonde "older man" Renee was playing.

But overall it's a good review, so congrats.

Any word on how dvd sales are doing?

Regards,

August

Dear August:

Thanks for the review (and the memories). I haven't heard anything about AA beyond the 117% of projected sales. I did watch the DVD, and it's a good transfer. The storyboard section only goes on for one scene, but you get a sense of it.

Josh

Name: Brian
E-mail:

Hey Josh,

Not that it matters, but I thought that "Sideways" won for best adapted screenplay because it was based on a book. Either way, I didn't believe that ending when the guy from WINGS is naked and starts crying that he needs his ring because he loves his fiance' and blah..blah..that was pretty lame.

I do think that the best part about that movie is Paul Giamatti eating a burger and onion rings while drinking that rare bottle of whatever the hell it was.

Dear Brian:

Apparently, it was an unpublished novel, but you are correct, it's actually Best Adapted Screenplay. Thank you.

Josh

Name: Derek Lee
E-mail: derekleesetprops@yahoo.co.uk

Dear Josh:

Power Cage Films (UK) have produced a feature (low low as hell budget) entitled The Incredibly Strange People Show, web site theincrediblystrangepeopleshow.co.uk
We would like advise on our next project (which will be an horror/comedy anthology) plus would you like a copy of the dvd (as we made tooooooooo many!?) Dez

Dear Dez:

Ask away. If I can be of any help, I'll do my best. Save the postage and have an extra pint.

Josh

Name: Question
E-mail: ernstyanning@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Why did you quit netflix after four years? Did they give you problems?

Dear Q:

No, I just didn't feel like I needed it once I had TiVo. Now, every time I sit down to watch TV there are 25 movies and shows to watch, which seems sufficient. Not to mention that I had watched almost every interesting film Netflix had, and was just waiting around for new stuff.

Josh

Name: DS
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

I liked the "Sideways" score, it reminded me of Nino Rota.

Dear DS:

It didn't remind me of Nino Rota, it just seemed insipid. Danny Elfman's score for "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" reminded me of a Nino Rota Fellini score. But that really just means circus music, which is not what the "Sideways" score was.

Josh

Name: Doug
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

What exactly is a stick-in-the-mud?

Dear Doug:

As per the Dictionary of Cliche: "Stick-in-the Mud -- Someone content with their situation and not willing to be changed. Stubborn but content. Horse-drawn coaches were extremely hard to move if their wheels became stuck. Versions of this phrase have persisted since at least the fourteenth century."

Josh

Name: Patrick Mendota
E-mail: pmendota@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Read your review for Sideways. I warned you about this one last year. You forget to mention the faux Jazz Chick Correa lite score. I cringed through that whole movie. That film inspired a bunch of wanks to become wine effecionados. Thanks for affirming my sanity on that one. On a brighter note, I watched Paths of Glory and Bridge on the River Kai for the first time this weekend. That's it, as far as movies (and music) I'm only going backwards. What's happening now is too depressing.

Dear Patrick:

Oh, yeah, that sucky score. Why did you have to remind me? It was like the score for an early '60s Doris Day movie, but not as good. Meanwhile, just as an aside, I met Virginia Madsen once in 1987. I was visiting my friend Shalini at the production office of the film "No Way Out" (at MGM, now Sony), which was in early pre-production at the time, and Virginia Madsen came in to talk to the director, Roger Donaldson, as a follow-up to her audition. She was pretty nervous and was trying to look her best. She was wearing a black leather mini-skirt, with black stockings with a back seam, which she was trying to make sure were straight with one leg up on a chair, then the other. She asked me a couple of times, "How do I look?" I smiled happily, nodding and and repeating, "Good. Very good." Anyway, she didn't get the part, it went to Sean Young.

Josh

Name: Kevin Kindel
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

A producer I know pointed that ad out to me. It is on craigs list. The link for the ad is: http://phoenix.craigslist.org/tfr/105219522.html

I thought it sounded like horseshit as well because on Bruce's site he states, as of 06/10/05, that they haven't found a director or written a screenplay.

Dear Kevin:

I guess it's some kind of joke.

Josh

Name: Beth
E-mail: oddlief@gmail.com

Dear Josh,

I read your review on "Sideways" and "American Beauty" and it left me itching to ask you about the movie "Attic Expeditions". I know that you have a link on your links page to a website about it, but was wondering if you didn't think that the story was weak? I realize you might not want to make a comment because the project had your friend Ted in it, but I hope I am not asking about his performance. I actually enjoyed his performance in the movie quite a bit. Thanks for any answer you give me.

Beth

Dear Beth:

I haven't seen it.

Josh

Name: Brad Hall
E-mail: bradhall@sequent.com

Dear Josh:

Coincidentally, I watched SIDEWAYS for the first time last week on DVD. So, I came to your review with the movie fairly fresh on my mind.

I have to say as someone who is not in the film business that there is no way I could dislike this movie as much as you did, because it seems like a goodl half your anger at the film flows from resentment at the film being unjustly awarded and overly praised by the establishment. I didn't approach the film asking it to justify the praise others showered on it; I simply came to it hoping for some sort of good time.

You state that the points of the screenplay are "recognize when a beautiful woman is coming onto you, and fuck everything before marriage," > and fault the film for proposing these false morals. Personally, I can't see how you took those messages away from the film. The characters are not rewarded for their actions. The actor is giving up his acting career and settling down to be a kept man by a rich woman in order to escape the failure of his dwindling television acting career. His actions on the trip show him to have no regard for the woman he's marrying; he is only marrying her in order to save himself from the humiliation of his career as a professional sexy dude, which was the only foundation for his self-esteem. He cries on losing his wallet not because he cares for that woman but because he is deathly afraid that without that marriage he will be doomed to support himself, and he doesn't know how to do that without relying on his dwindling sex appeal.

I suppose I can be faulted for having gotten some of this stuff from listening to the DVD commentary. For instance, on there, the actors mention that the director believes that at the end of the movie the woman will not be there waiting for the writer when he knocks at her door in the last scene. She's motivated and moving forward with his life, and tries to make him feel better with the phone call, but in the end he's way too much of a sad sack drunk. The commentary also discussed how the writer character was not supposed to be a good writer. He was supposed to be mediocre, pretentious, and justly failed. Both of the characters are immature middle aged men who end up in bitter places; they regard themselves as special, but they ain't. They're intended as warning signs rather than role models.

I agree with you that these guys are creepy, but what I got out of the movie was seeing some aspects of these creepy guys in myself, and taking a hard look at some of my own self-delusional pretensions. It was an unpleasant process, but perhaps worthwhile. And I cracked up like a mofo during the naked biker footchase, sorry!

Dear Brad:

All of the explanations in you offer in paragraph two are not in the movie. That the only way they could get this information across was in the commentary shows how lame their script is. I don't know that he's marrying this woman for her money, there's no indication of that in the film, and since I nver get to know her at all, how would I glean this from what's there? Meanwhile, the stupid actor still gets the rich girl, so how is he not rewarded for fucking everything that moves? Because he got his nose broken? Nor did I believe for one single second that Virginia Madsen would be interested in this downbeat little creep, let alone read his shitty book, or be waiting for him. Meanwhile, I'm highly amused when my motivation for disliking a film that's really worthy of being disliked is shrugged off as "resentment at the film being unjustly awarded and overly praised by the establishment." No. It's that it's a poorly-written film that must be explained by the writer on the commentary track because he was too lame to get the information into his script. I too am hoping for some sort of good time whenever I watch a movie, but "Sideways" was simply too shitty to provide it.

Josh

Name: nithiya
E-mail: nithiya_cosmoluv@hotmail.com

dear: mr. josh

i would want to now that when did u make the movie above and i would wish to know what is the movie about. thank you for reading this letter.please reply as soon as possible. bye bye.

Dear nithiya:

Above what? What the hell are you talking about. Perhaps I should take this moment to explain that if you don't make reference to what you're talking about, like which essay, review or whatever, how the hell should I know?

Josh

Name: sangkarii
E-mail: sang_1993@hotmail.com

please sir do u know when i am going to die.i hope u would reply soon cause i will be wating for your reply.

Dear sangkarii:

You'll die in the next 37 seconds, and whetever you do, don't turn around!

Josh

Name: Jeremy Milks
E-mail: admin@homecomingcreations.com

Dear Josh:

I never thought I'd be doing this. Recently Tammy Ruggles wrote you saying something about you doing one of her films. She misread some or our conversations I think. She apologizes.

See, I'm directing/producing one of her shorts and I think she somehow thought that I said you were doing one. I apologize also.

Sorry for the confusion,
Jeremy Milks

Dear Jeremy:

Thanks for the explanation.

Josh

Name: Ed Stan
E-mail: erectstan@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Is this ad legitamate or is this pooey???

I'm submitting talent for Sam Rami's "Evil Dead" Remake. This is your chance to work with Bruce Campbell in a major motion picture remake. If you want to be included then you need to call Thorne Motion Pictures, ask for Mark Alderson and set up an appointment today. 480 429 9208. Job location is AZ

Compensation: scale

This is a contract job.

Dear Ed:

Sounds like horseshit to me. As far as I know, they haven't chosen a director or had a script written yet. Where did it come from?

Josh

Name: Beth
E-mail: oddlief@gmail.com

Dear Josh,

Well my opinion has been confirmed, you were an adorable kid. I was wondering how the business of your book is coming along? Have they given you specific release date on it yet? I know I can't wait 'til it comes out.

Cheers,
Beth

Dear Beth:

It'll be out by Christmas, that's all I know.

Josh

Name: Beth
E-mail: oddlief@gmail.com

Dear Josh,

Well, ya know, I'm not to certain as to why there are less women writing screenplays right now. I suppose its a matter of "get busy living or get busy dying" Rather than sitting around here wondering I suppose I should hurry up and start trying to write them myself or encourge my fellow female writers that we need to make a dent in the world of writing screenplays. Meanwhile you don't have any pictures at Tamakwa, but I was wondering, if you had any, would you post any pictures of when you were a kid. I suspect you were a cute kid. Would you prove me right or wrong?

Cheers,
Beth

Dear Beth:

Here's me in 4th grade, you decide.

Josh

Name: Rob
E-mail: habejr@mac.com

Dear Josh,

You're a director and a writer. You've done many VERY independent features. I assumed you've pulled your share of all-nighters. I have to edit 4 hours of documentary footage into a ten minute film and memorize 50 lines of Hamlet for school by Friday morning. On top of that I work a job that doesn't get me home until 9 pm. Any tips on staying awake - like special foods or just constant coffee? Thanks.

-Rob

Dear Rob:

Double espressos, every hour or two. I hate all-nighters.

Josh

Name:
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

How much of a Danny Kaye fan are you? It is a shame that we don't get great men like that anymore. What is your favorite Danny Kaye film?

Dear :

I'm not a Danny Kaye fan. He's one of those comedians from the past, like Eddie Cantor or Abbott and Costello or the Ritz Brothers, whose humor hasn't translated through the years, so you can only wonder what the hell people thought was so funny about them?

Josh

Name: Beth
E-mail: oddlief@gmail.com

Dear Josh,

What do you think, why are there not more women screenwriters?

Beth

Dear Beth:

You tell me. Back in the 1920s and '30s the biggest screenwriter in Hollywood was Francis Marion (Oscar-winner 1930 for "The Big House"), in the 1940s and '50s Ruth Gordon was a top screenwriter. There have been any number of female screenwriters over the course of film history, there just aren't that many now.

Josh

Name: Brad Hall
E-mail: bradhall@sequent.com

Dear Josh:

I was wondering if you believe that what is being filmed can add to the artistic value of a film, so much so that a poor director can once and a while produce a good film because of the aesthetic quality of that which he has filmed? In particular, for instance, I would say that the films of Russ Meyer are often worthwhile because they feature works of art which god has created -- the bosoms of the actresses Meyer chose for his films -- and that God's work in producing these beautiful chests makes Russ Meyer's work aesthetically worthwhile whereas they would not be had he filmed a streetpost or a car chase instead. The sight of aesthetically pleasing bosoms created by God is in itself an artistic achievement worthy of reverence, particularly combined with buttery popcorn, which provides the other half of the oral fixation -- a satisfyingly fatty texture in the mouth reminicent of feeding at one's mother's teats.

Dear Brad:

Not only what's being filmed, but how it's being filmed. All of these things matter. Given a choice, would I rather look at Charlize Theron or Rosie O'Donnell for 2 hours? The answer is Charlize Theron. Why? Because she's more aesthetically pleasing to look at. Part of what I think made my film "Alien Apocalypse" a success was filming the pretty green Bulgarian countryside, unlike most sci-fi films, which are in dark hallways. As a little note: the production designer on "Alien Apocalypse," George Costello, did many of Russ Meyers' films, including "Faster Pussycat Kill Kill!" which impressed the hell out of me.

Josh

Name: Mike
E-mail:

Hiya Josh,

A quick question on the subject of sound design. I've noticed that in older films (say, up to 1970s or so) even a semi-trained ear can catch a number of really awkward sound edits, mostly dialogue stuff. For example, I was watching Ocean's 11 (the original) and noticed that Akim Tamaroff's (at least I think that's who it was - the pudgy bald fellow who came up with the idea for the heist) dialogue had noticeable sound cuts and splices, and at times you could hear the room tone drop out entirely when he spoke - one can only assume those lines were ADRed later.

So the question - do you think that studios were able to get away with this because the audience was less technically sophisticated, i.e. not as used to digitally perfect sound and picture, as today's audiences are? Was it just too much work to fix the sound properly using the equipment they had at the time? Or both?

Actually, that turned out longer than I'd intended. I blame caffeine (mmmmm..... caffeine).

Anyway, as always - thanks and fight the good fight.

Mike

Dear Mike:

It just sounds like sloppy work, all old movies aren't like that. Something like "Ocean's Eleven" wasn't a serious production for anyone involved, I mean, it was Lewis Milestone who directed it, for goodness sake, the guy who won an Oscar for "All Quiet on the Western Front." But I'd say most Hollywood movies have good sound.

Josh

Name: Richard
E-mail: filmfan_1@hotmail.com

Josh -

Can you recommend any good films to watch for Halloween? And by that, of course, I mean horror films.

Richard

Dear Richard:

Watch "Alien" and "Aliens" again and you'll have a good time, if you haven't seen them too recently, that is.

Josh

Name: Tammy Ruggles
E-mail: tammyruggles@peoplepc.com

Dear Josh,

Just wanted to give you my new e-mail address, and I read on your site about wanting to do my script, wanted to say thank you very much and hope to hear more about it. Best to all of your projects.

Sincerely,
Tammy

Dear Tammy:

What are you talking about?

Josh

Name: John
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

What's your opinion of critic Jonathan Rosenbaum?

Dear John:

Never heard of him. I don't really read reviews anymore, since I have no intention of seeing the films.

Josh

Name: Siegel
E-mail: SGbumjacket@aol.com

Mr. Becker,

I noticed you are a fan of the '51 THE THING and was wondering if you liked Carpenter's remake/rendition of John W. Campbell, Jr.s "Who Goes There?" Carpenter stays closer to the source material (which is much better than the alien-vegetable plot) and I think it pays off with a greater source of suspense. Do you agree and how do you as a director think the material could have been better represented on screen?

Dear Siegel:

John Carpenter's version may well be closer to the book, but I don't think it's anywhere near as good as the 1951 version. I'll go a step further, I thought Carpenter's remake sucked, and in fact had very little suspense, just a lot of gross-out effects. I did like Ennio Morricone's score, though. I thought Christian Nyby and Howard Hawks handled the first one just fine.

Josh

Name: Jeff Alede
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

"An Army at Dawn" is non-fiction. I guess that's why you are unfamiliar with it. How do you store your books, barrister bookcase? I imagine some of those first editions are pretty valuable, considering you've been collecting them for a while. Do you also look at the printings (not just editions)? I'm a bit of a collector myself.

Dear Jeff:

Why would something being non-fiction necessarily be unfamiliar to me? All I read now is non-fiction. Meanwhile, I store my books in wooden bookcases, of which I have eleven (four of them are six foot shelves, the others are five feet). I certainly look at the printings, although if it's legitimately a 1st edition, then there are no printings to look at. For instance, I do not have 1st editions of "Gone With the Wind" or "The Grapes of Wrath," I just have early printings from the same year the book came out, since 1st editions of both of those books are very rare, and very expensive. Other books, like Michael Shaara's "The Killer Angels," I've never seen a 1st edition, nor even an early hardcover printing, so I have a hardcover reprint. The same goes for Willa Cather's "One of Ours." I've never even seen an early printing of that book, so I once again have a hardcover reprint. I splurged on the last Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson, and bought a signed, 1st edition.

Josh

Name: Beth
E-mail: oddlief@gmail.com

Dear Josh,

I noticed that all of the screenplays you have posted to the website you have either written yourself or collaborated with other men to write. My Question is have you ever collaborated with a woman to write a screenplay?
And if not, why not?

Cheers,
Beth

Dear Beth:

There simply aren't that many female screenwriters, I've only met a few, and I've never been in a situation where the idea of collaborating came up. It's certainly not something I actively look for, collaborating, that is.

Josh

Name:
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

I gather you do not like muscials. White Christmas is such a great film. Vera Elen is such a great dancer and Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney. I know is not a great drama but it is very relaxing and very entertaining.

Dear :

Why would you gather that, because it's not true. I love quite a few musicals, like: "The Sound of Music," "West Side Story," "Gigi," "Love Me Tonight," "My Fair Lady, "Cabaret." How did you come to gather this?

Josh

Name: Jeff Alede
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

Some time ago I asked if you'd read "An Army at Dawn" by Rick Atkinson. You replied you'd never heard of it; now I see that its won the Pulitzer prize, so I'm wondering, do you read all the Pulitzer prize winners, or just collect them, or some combination of the two? And did you ever read Mr. Atkinson's fine book? Just curious.

Jeff

Dear Jeff:

No, I haven't yet. Did it win for fiction or non-fiction? I have all of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novels, in harcover, first-editions, and I've read about half of them. But since I don't read much, or any, fiction anymore, for the past six or eight years I've purchased them and put them into the collection without reading them. But seriously, everybody, I don't need book or movie recommendations. I watch what I deem worthy of watching, and I read what I think is worth reading, and I have no problems with finding my next book or film.

Josh

Name: Jeremy Milks
E-mail: admin@homecomingcreations.com

Dear Josh:

Good close. One I'm envious of.

Hey, I've been wondering for awhile now, what the hell does R.O.C. Sandstorm stand for? I've been wondering for awhile.

Jeremy Milks

Dear Jeremy:

It doesn't stand for anything, as far as I know, and the R.O.C. is pronounced "Rock." It's a silly pseudonym Sam came up with 20-odd years ago for projects he didn't want to put his real name on. When he first brought it up to me, I kept torturing him, saying, "You're going to use a girl's name?" He said, "It's not a girl's name." I said, "Really? Roxanne Storm sounds like a girl's name to me." "Not Roxanne Storm. R.O.C. Standstorm."

Josh

Name: Beth
E-mail: oddlief@gmail.com

Hey Josh,

Do you have any pictures of you guys when you were at Camp Tamakwa? It would be really cool to see them if you did.

Thanks,
Beth

Dear Beth:

Of this group, it was only Sam and I that went to Tamakwa, but no, I have no pictures.

Josh

Name: Colin Hives
E-mail: colinhives@msn.com

Dear Josh:

I have started plans to replace an actors voice, maybe with my owm. Thanks Josh

How many takes do you usually go for, is ot dictated by performance or time?

Col

Dear Colin:

Both. Ultimately, time will win, though, since there's only a limited amount. But given the short schedules I've had, my basic theory is that if the actor gets the words out of their mouths, doesn't bumble, and the boom doesn't hit them in the head, I move on.

Josh

Name: Trey Smith
E-mail: cobra_commander_of_cobra@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

Even though a hurrican is not funny at all, I must admit I chuckled to myself when The Weather Channel mentioned it was over Key Largo. I wonder how Edward G. Robinson is taking it?

Anyway, I saw "F for Fake" tonight. What did you think of it? I found it pretty interesting and loved how it was edited. Though the many freeze frames did annoy me. However, my favorite part was at the end of the films when Orson Welles stepped foward and said, "At the beginning of all this I did make you a promise. Remember? I did promise, that for one hour, I'd tell only the truth. That hour, ladies and gentlemen is over. For the past seventeen minutes...I've been lying my head off."

I also loved when they were discussing how they'd take one of the fakes to a museum and say "This is a fake." and the so called experts would agree and explain why. Then they'd take it to antoher mueseum and the experts would be completely sure it was an original.

Too bad it didn't get much distribution in it's day.

Dear Trey:

It's a quirky little movie, but totally interesting. I love his little cutting montages, where we're seeing the film, then it cuts to Welles sitting at the flatbed editor and he suddenly yanks out the film and recuts it. He had a wonderful sense of blending reality and fantasy. I have no doubt that in 1942 many people didn't know that the feature had started when it suddenly just goes into the "News on the March" newsreel at the head of "Citizen Kane." It was probably following another newsreel. It would have taken everybody watching a different amount of time to realize it was fake. Welles was also the first theater director to plant actors in the audience or have them come running up the aisles. He loved confusing the audience into doubting what's real and what isn't, which is undoubtedly why he liked magic. He liked trickery, and was good at it.

Josh

Name: Jeremy Milks
E-mail: admin@homecomingcreations.com

Dear Josh:

First things first, I noticed a ton of typos and words left out in my last post which in some areas completely changed the meaning. Like I think I wrote "that what I watch them for" regarding special effects in Star Wars when I meant to have the word "not" in there. Fuckin' mind working faster than my fingers.

I won't bring up Temple of Doom anymore. This is the last thing about it. I like the character Indiana Jones. I've said the movie isn't that great, but I like the character (and the actor), and that's what I like it. I never said you had to respect my opinion because I just like the film. Fuck me, you don't have to respect me or my opinion.

And for the at least the second time, I have seen a ton of films that were made before '77. Yes, I've seen more that were made after '77, because I wasn't even alive in '77, but I have seen a lot.

You bring up Cuckoo's Nest a lot, which I didn't particularly care for. Not because the movie was bad (the movie was just fine), but I had just read the book and the movie didn't follow it the best. I think that Cuckoo's Nest is probably one of Brad Douriff's best films.

I've seen a lot of stuff. Not as much as you, but I've seen a lot. My perspective is fine. And frankly, I like a lot of actors from the old days. In my all time favorite actor list, a good chunk of my favorites started in the old movies. Gregory Peck is towards the top of my all time list, and I remember when he died it pissed me off because they spent more time covering a reporter who died the same day he did. Richard Harris is another one of my favorites. Sean Connery always has been one of my favorites. Gene Hackman is cool, I like him. I liked James Coburn and Jason Robards quite a bit too.

Just because I like new stuff doesn't mean I haven't seen the old stuff too. And no matter how many old films I see in my life time, it doesn't mean I'm going to completely stop liking the films I like now.

I like big films, but I also like small films. I like stupid films, but I also appreciate smart films. I'm more like you then you know. I'm just younger and not quite as set in my ways is all.

Jeremy Milks

Dear Jeremy:

Okay then. Moving on.

Josh

Name: Bob
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

The question you answered about what makes a story interesting is that they sold it to you got me thinking. At first I was thinking that a story should be plausible to be good, but maybe being intriguing is more important. For example, Fantastic Voyage requires a cool looking submarine to get small enough to be injected into a human body. That is intriguing idea, however we have to invent a technology to get us there. Therefore Issac Asimov gives us the technology of miniturization. Not too plausible, but damn intriguing.

On the other hand, there is Jurassic Park. All we need is DNA cloning technology to make Dinosaurs. Given our current research, this isn't all that implausible. However, even with all this we don't get a decent story about reborn Dinosaurs.

I know this is a little unfocused but do you think that having an intriguing story, like journeying through blood vessels in a sub, at least in the sci-fi realm and adding even an implausible technological advance to support the story might be a key to a good science fiction story.

Dear Bob:

It's very much like what Joe DoLuca, the composer of all the music for my movies, once said (and I paraphrase), You can have a 100-piece orchestra and the whole Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but what it all comes down to is a good tune. In screenwriting, when everything is said and done, a lot of it comes down to, is it a good story? Saying that you can find some extant dinosaur DNA, then clone dinosaurs for an amusement park on an island, then they've all gotten loose is a pretty good Act I. But it's one of those stories where now you're kind of stuck with your next two acts, which is confronting dinosaurs, which, after a point, is highly repetitive and really has nowhere to go. Whereas, in "Fantastic Voyage," the science fiction element of miniaturization is being used for a yet a bigger story, which is that this injured man has vital information that must be saved. Plus you have a great ticking clock in that the ship and the scientists will only remain miniature for so long, then grow back to full size inside this guy. The bottom-line is that "Fantastic Voyage" is a better story than "Jurassic Park." There's no formula necessarily, it's still coming up with a cool story.

Josh

Name: Lou
E-mail: louissilvestri@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

I saw that documentary. It made me a Borgnine fan. The film was made by the guy who did Heavy Metal Parking Lot, Jeff Krulik. Ernest is an incredible person. He's done way way waaayyy too many movies for a human being. I'm not a big fan of the Poseidon Adventure. Of course, considering I like Airwolf, I guess my opinion might be a bit skewed.

Dear Lou:

Ernest Borgnine is a terrific actor. I just watched "Emperor of the North (Pole)" again, and he's intense as hell, and really running around on a moving train, as are Lee Marvin and Keith Carradine. But Borgnine has a great range and can play terrible bad guys like "North Pole" or "From Here to Eternity" or he can play really lovable good guys, like "Marty." He can also give more complex, shaded performances, like in "The Wild Bunch," where he's the contemplative one. For an unattractive overweight man with bug eyes and big spaces between his teeth, I think he's had a helluva career.

Josh

Name: Colin Hives
E-mail: colinhives@msn.com

Hi Josh from rainy Liverpool, England

A strange question for you here pal...have you ever dealt with people in your films who really couldn't act? But it was too late to change? If so, as a director how do you address the problem?

By the way, we are hitting a local channel called Channel Four shortly with our latest movie and there is a special thanks to you and Bruce in the titles for al your help.

Thanks
Col
England

P.s. Alien Apocalypse? Your thoughts on sitting in with my girl?

Bruce said....

Well I'll wait for your comments

Dear Colin:

Good luck with your film. I had that very problem in "Alien Apocalypse." The actor I had cast as the Senator was suddenly unavailable, so they came out to the set, handed me a few head shots of actors from an audition tape I had seen a week or two earlier. The casting director pointed at one and said, "He's American, and he's availble," so I said fine. The guy shows up on the last day of shooting, which was by far the worst day for me, and he can't act at all, can't remember his few lines, and is as stiff as board. And suddenly, I was plunged into a director's nightmare. I took him aside and conveyed my great faith in him, that given a few moments to loosen up it would all go swimmingly, and the guy got worse and worse and every single take. We somehow made it through the first scene he was in, but when it came to the second one, standing out in the chilly rain on the last day of shooting, which had been over-scheduled to start with, and this guy is blowing his lines every single time, I finally exploded. I started swearing as loud as I could every time he blew it, "Shit! Again!" and finally just moved on, "Fuck it! Let's keep going," having decided in my own head that I'd have to replace his voice, too, just like the Bulgarian actors. In fact, I cut him out as much as possible, and replaced his voice.

Josh

Name: Matt David T.
E-mail: msturnbull@comcast.net

Josh,

I've noticed when reading through your list of favorite films and some of your opinions regarding elements of films that tend themselves towards younger audiences (heroes in unitards saving people, for example) that you seem to be against non-realistic elements in general.

I personally feel Fantastic elements, like all elements of a story, are simply devices to be used to help further illuminate the theme while simultaneously evoking a mood. Do you think Fantastic Elements have a place in film, or would you prefer films only be about realistic interactions?

I'd be concerned if you thought they didn't, because that would basically eliminate (in that world-view) the possibility of truly great films coming from the entire genre of speculative work - Sci-Fi, Fantasy, etc..

Regarding specifically comic book superheroes, is it the Mood they create that you object to, or the belief that an audience can truly utilize them as a tool for exploring a real-world theme of significance?

Dear Matt:

If you use a fantastic story element for a reason, other than simply pandering to what you think will sell, then sure. I love when Dorothy goes to Munchkinland and Oz, or when the ship and it's crew are miniaturized and injected into the guy in "Fantastic Voyage," or when "The Incredible Shrinking Man" shrinks. I was totally there with "RoboCop" or "Aliens." Why? Because they sold it to me. But to just say, Oh, this guy wears tights and fights crime is asinine. Super heroes are not legitimate fantasy, nor have they got anything to do with science fiction. And no, I don't think you can find any real-world significance in them. In fantasy and sci-fi, certainly. "Twilight Zone" did it every week for years. Look at "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

Josh

Name: Tom
E-mail: bellyoptopus@yahoo.com

Hi Josh,

How to handle people you meet personally in everyday life with strong religious beliefs?

I've certainly gotten myself in sticky situations by refusing to defer their beliefs; lost jobs, lost friendships, family alienation, etc. Sometimes I can't keep my own thoughts to myself and feel the need to argue with them. Obviously, on this Q & A you can say what you feel compelled to say about religion without a face to face confrontation.

Tom

Dear Tom:

Yeah, but I'm a big mouth. I'll pretty much say anything to anybody. But the Jehovah's Witnesses in my neighborhood like me a lot and always stop by. I'm sure they've been to my house more than any other non-JW because I'm always willing to talk to them. I generally give them bible lessons, about where the bible came from, and the parts that were dropped over the years, and I show off my holy book collection -- I have all of them -- and we discuss religion in general, and since it's a subject that I enjoy talking about, I think they enjoy discussing it with me. Even if I am a pagan, as far as they're concerned.

Josh

Name: Georghi Gatzov
E-mail: regista2222@abv.bg

Dear Josh:

Hi what's going on on the tops of the hils?

Dear Georghi:

Is this like a Bulgarian riddle or something? I don't know, what does go on on the tops of the hills?

Josh

Name: Jason Roth
E-mail: jason@visualnoiz.com

Hey Josh,

Really enjoyed the Confessions of a Movie Geek article. I too had the chance to meet Ernest Borgnine earlier this year, he's still vital and funny at 87. I had him autograph two DVDs- the first was Marty, the second was The Devil's Rain. His eyes went wide when I pulled it out- "You saw this?? This film was made with mob money!!" He's titling his autobiography "I Don't Want to Start a Fire, I Just Want to Keep My Nuts Warm." Quite a guy.

Anyway to keep it brief (brevity and all that), I'm finishing up my first feature film (shot on video) Too Dead to Die, and wanted to say thanks for being an inspiration. Having been a frequent visitor to your site for 6+ years, I know a mafia/zombie/screwball comedy is NOT your cup of tea (I think I still have an email from you years back telling me what a horrid idea it was), but your essays, films, and overall attitude toward filmmaking have been a definite influence on this production.

I'm about to premiere this thing on Halloween, we'll see if flies or does a crash and burn.
Just wanted to toss a little appreciation your way!
Jason

Dear Jason:

Thank you very much, I appreciate it. Congratulations on getting a movie made! It's a big deal, no matter what it is. I wish you all the luck in the world. May mafia/zombie/screwball comedies be the next rage. Meanwhile, I saw this wonderful little documentary, which I don't think was ever released, about traveling around America with Ernest Borgnine in his bus. He owns a full-sized Greyhound bus with every amenity inside that he drives everywhere. As he's driving the bus he's perfectly happy to comment on almost everything. He said that no matter where you go in this great country, in any of the 50 states, you'll always meet someone from Ohio, which I think is true.

Josh

Name: Jeremy Milks
E-mail: admin@homecomingcreations.com

Dear Josh:

I don't care how "adult" you're acting. Personally, I think we're both acting childish over this.

There's nothing sentimental about my tastes. I used to like the Power Rangers and can't stand them now. When I was really little I like Barney and now I despise him so damn much. When I was little, I didn't like the original Star Wars trilogy, they grew on me. I like them now more than I did then. The more I can understand things, the more I like or dislike them. I get Star Wars, and like the story (and the writing ... accept for all of Jake Lloyd's lines in Phantom Menace. Lucas should write children).

It's not like I'm living in my past, hugging posters of my favorite films going "I wish I never grew up." Personally, I like being older. I like being able to drive and vote and buy cigarettes (though I don't smoke). Hell, if a girl would say yes I could get married and that's something about being grown up that I like.

I know Star Wars is rather childish, though it gets more adult as it goes (despite the special effects).

Also, in case you've been thinking this, I don't really like Star Wars for its special effects. Yeah, they're nice, but that's what I watch the movies for. The scenes in space are my least favorite parts. I prefer the interaction between characters. Like watching Obi-Wan get verbally bitch-slapped by Yoda, or when Palpatine tried to manipulate Luke into turning evil. That's what I like. I like the sword fights too, but I'd like those even if they weren't lightsabers.

I'm a character guy. If I like a character, I'm liable to like a movie. If I laugh at a movie (in good ways) then I'm liable to like it. If it's directed well or written well, I'll like it.

I'm not just "ooh ooh, bang bang, I like it when it go boom."

I don't like being called stupid, and will try to explain myself endlessly until you at least know sort of what I'm getting at. Everything I say to you basically goes in one ear, get's processed into "He's stupid" and is then processed into some smart ass remark that, though worded well, are basically just a slap in my face.

Jeremy Milks

Dear Jeremy:

Then let's drop it. Just don't bring up "Temple of Doom" anymore because you can't defend it. Just saying "I like it, and that's my opinion which you must respect" is crap. Although it occasionally may not seem like it, this forum is for adults, or adult-minded kids, to discuss movies in an intelligent way, as well as other topics, too. What you need is a lot more perspective, meaning you need to see a lot more movies, preferably good ones, meaning films that came out previous to 1977. You're probably not stupid, you just don't know what you're talking about.

Josh

Name: Jeff Alede
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

Can you give a description of the characters for your script "The Horribleness"? Also, is the script posted on your site? (if so, I couldn't find it)

Dear Jeff:

No, it's not posted, nor will it be until it's funded or officially dropped. Bruce will play Dr. Acula and a cop; Ted Raimi will play Frankenstein, a cop, and a priest; and Ellen Sandwiess (from "Evil Dead") will play the Bride of Frankenstein, who has divorced Frankenstein and remarried Dr. Acula, and each has a teenaged kid from their previous marriage.

Josh

Name: Question
E-mail: ernstyanning@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Since you believe religion is evil, and it is, how do you feel about reincarnation? I mean, what is the real point of it? Is it my birthday when I die, or was it my funeral when I'm born? Am I really a senile old man who thinks he is 22? If we are only a bunch of matter, does that mean I am one with the coffee table? Who was I in my past life, and was I as big a fuckup then as I was now? And if so, who the fuck was Mr. T in his past life? What if we're wrong, what if this planet has been around for 20,000 years, and the evolution of man continuously drives us to apathy and stupidity and we wipe ourselves out over and over again and continuously evolve from monkeys? Does that mean the monkeys are our next generation and not our children? Do monkeys reincarnate?

What if film constantly gets invented over those 20,000 years, reaches its peak, goes down the shitter, then gets abandoned and forgotten only to get discovered again after the stupidity apocalypse of the reincarnated monkeys? I guess what I'm really trying to say is: Is Robert DeNiro forever doomed to relive the 80s?

Seriously, are there any good books on the subject? Or is it all trash?

Dear Q:

Have a rough night? To me, reincarnation is just another version of heaven; it's a reassurance to the masses that this miserable life isn't the whole deal, that there's something to look forward to beside death, decay, and ultimately being forgotten. Humans seemingly cannot deal with the idea that you get X number of years to live, and that's it. I think this based on the fact that most people do such a shitty job living thier lives that they feel they need another crack at it, and everyone deep down knows you only get the one chance, so they spend their entire lives kidding themselves. How can there be a good book on reincarnation, nobody legitimately knows anything about it, just like heaven.

Josh

Name: Angel
E-mail: aesparz2@depaul.edu

Dear Josh,

I was thumbing through Robert Evans' "The Kid Stays in the Picture" and caught a passage in which he discussed the difficulty in trying to find someone to translate Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" to the screen. Many writers quit claiming it was extremley difficult. I know you think very little of Evans, but, this triggerd something you had said in this forum long ago. You said that you felt "Barton Fink" was probably inspired by F. Scott's forray into Hollywood. Could you be able to just give me an idea as to what happened to Fitzgerald in Hollywood?

Dear Angel:

They made a pretty good cable film about it called "Fitzgerald in Hollywood," I believe, with Jeremy Irons and Neve Campbell. But basically Fitzgerald's drinking got worse and worse as tried to write movie scripts, and also finish his book, "The Last Tycoon." Everything he wrote for films got rewritten by others, like "Three Comrades" (1938), and he finally ended up on a script co-writing with a very young Budd Schulberg, who ended up nursing him and writing the script, which was "Winter Carnival" (1939). Anyway, he died soon thereafter.

Josh

Name: Jonathan Moody
E-mail: jondoe_555@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

I work in a video store part time (Go Figure) and I was looking at the new releases wall recently and I stumbled on a documentary that caught my eye called Overnight. So I decided to rent it. It was about the guy who wrote and directed the movie "Boondock Saints" (Troy Duffy) who was an overnight success and screwed himself by being an asshole to everyone around him including Harvey Weinstein and how Miramax made his movie go in to Turnaround and they had to make independently in order to get it made. Its a really interesting what-not-to-do when dealing with Hollywood type documentary and even if you haven't watched Boondock Saints (which is more or less a Tarantino rip off) I'd check out this well made documentary. Its an entertaining look at the life of Troy Duffy.

Your fan,
Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

Okay.

Josh

Name: martyn perry
E-mail: evileyeperry@hotmail.com

Hey Josh, can't believe that anchor bay know nothing about your film being released in that format in the UK. And to be perfectly honest, i can't believe you didn't know either! How strange the film industry really is i suppose. I took the liberty of doing some research for you so that you wouldn't have to really, this is from a website called play.com which distributes uk DVD's from the internet at cheaper prices, i get your films from the sister site playusa.com. anyway, i've copied and pasted the special features from the list provided from the website which shows that indeed your film is included.

Special Features
Audio Commentary 1: With Sam Raimi and Robert Tappert
Audio commentary 2: With Bruce Cambell
Theatrical trailer
TV spots
'Fanalysis': a documentary by Bruce Campbell (26 mins) 'Discovering
The Evil Dead' featurette (13 mins) Outtakes and deleted scenes (18
mins) Photo and stills gallery
Biographies
Bonus feature: 'Running Time', starring Bruce Campbell includes an audio
commentary by writer-producer-director Josh Becker & star Bruce Campbell
and a trailer

So there you have it, for all those that don't own the Evil Dead:book of the dead special edition DVD already (it's actually a re-issue with your film included) those in the UK will now see your excellent film. (trust me, being from the UK i had to do some pretty good re-search to not only find out about you, but your website and your films too. Thank god i did!) But now with this re-issue both of the major film magazines in the UK have mentioned your film in terms of its inclusion with evil dead: Empire magazine:issue 196 (the UK's, if not the world's greatest movie mag) quote:- DVD extras, disc one has a plethora of ed-related bonus materials. But the really intriguing added value is the feature Running Time on disc two. Written and shot by long-time Raimi collaborator Josh Becker, it follows Carl (Campbell), a smooth-talking con who plans to rob the jail from which he's just been released. Sharply written, the film is shot in real time, and given it never got a cinema release in the UK, this is your only chance to see it. ADAM SMITH

Total Film:- (an average film magazine) There are also deleted scenes, outtakes, trailers, and even a whole other Campbell movie, 1987's Running Time.

So despite the fact that both magazines made slight errors regarding the details of the film, (i thought the date was a pretty major mistake for a film mag.) It's pretty encouraging to see that your film is getting some pretty good exposure over here in the UK.

I hope that i've managed to help you find out some info regarding your film in the UK and i must say, it coudn't happen to a better film or a nicer bloke so well played mate. I recommend showing the info to those apparently clueless people at anchorbay that you spoke too!!Anyway, if you want scans of either of the magazines i quoted from your more than welcome just let me know.

Regards, Martyn

Dear Martyn:

Thanks for the info. I did believe you, BTW. But there's a good example of how the film business works. Neither the filmmaker, nor the distributor, knew the film was being released that way. It's not like I've taken the UK by storm, my film is the tenth extra on a film that's been re-released 15 times. As for a movie magazine gettingf a film's date wrong, that's par for the course. Regarding movies, nobody ever goes to the trouble of looking anything up.

Josh

Name: Danny Cork
E-mail: dpc9839@ku.edu

Josh,

No question, just my two cents:
Let's not forget how racist 'Temple of Doom' was either. If I recall correctly, India denied them permission to film there unless they cut the scene where they're portrayed as a nation of live snake, monkey brain, eyeball eaters. So they shot in Sri Lanka instead! Even Ford now admits this was a silly and uncultured scene. Throw in the evil Asian gangsters at the beginning and you're suddenly not at all surprised that Spielberg hadn't read a book for pleasure until his mid twenties. And of course the next minute he's churning out piss-poor, pontificating race films like 'Amistad' in quest of an Oscar! The cheek of the man!

Danny

Dear Danny:

When Spielberg won his first two Oscars for "Schindler's List," there was a photo of him on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter holding up the two Oscars and saying, "It's about time." My friend Rick and I were both aghast. When was it he felt he should have won, but didn't? In every case there's a more deserving winner (like say in 1975 Milos Foreman for "Cuckoo's Nest" instead of "Jaws," in 1977 Woody Allen won for "Annie Hall" instead of "Close Encounters," in 1980 Robert Redford won instead of Spielberg for "Raiders," but it should've gone to Martin Scorsese for "Raging Bull," etc.). Spielberg is clearly full of shit, and obviously pretty ignorant. He's the perfect representation of everything that's wrong with contemporary movies -- he doesn't know what constitutes a good story, and he has no sense of irony or subtlety. It's very clear to me at least that he's not very smart and doesn't read books.

Josh

Name: Stan Wrightson
E-mail:

Hi Josh-

Your comedy screenplays are extremely funny. You write comedy very well. I've read some books about writing comedy screenplays and they were very disappointing. Have you considered writing an essay about writing comedy screenplays? Do you think comedy can be taught, or does one have to be 'born funny'? Your insights, as always, are greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

Dear Stan:

I couldn't teach someone to write comedy. What can you say? Think up funny things? I don't know about being born funny, but you do have to be able to tune into the humor wavelength, and basically be able to return to it any time you want. But all definitions of humor are meaningless, and discussions of where it comes from or how to do it are equally as meaningless. It's entirely based on, is it funny? Did it make you laugh? With Paul Harris and I on these last two comedy scripts we wrote, if one of us could make the other one laugh, it went into the script. It didn't matter if it made sense, propelled the plot, or was inconsistent with the characters -- if we laughed, it's in the script. When writing a comedy, humor trumps everything.

Josh

Name: John Hunt
E-mail: Chowkidar@aol.com

Josh,

"True Grit" has always bothered me because of Glenn Campbell. His performance in that movie seems extremely wooden to me; he never quite seems to know what to do with his hands. The rest of the cast is great but Campbell just drives me to distraction.

I actually do prefer "Rooster Cogburn", though "True Grit" has the better story. Of course, I'm a huge Hepburn fan and the contrast between her and Wayne is fun. I think people forget how marked that pairing was, but can you imagine the two of them making a film together twenty years earlier? There was in "Rooster", however, a lot of winking to the camera.

If there's a dumber scene in movie history than Indiana Jones and Company falling out of an airplane in an inflatable raft and then toboganing down the Himalayas, I can't think of it at present.

Thanks,
John

Dear John:

Glenn Campbell's acting career didn't really take off, but I don't mind him in the film. I think he does all right. I love when Duke goes down into the pit to save Kim Darby from the snakes, and says, "When you need the Texan, he's dead," then Campbell appears all bloody at the mouth of the pit and proclaims, "I ain't dead yet," and pulls them up. When they get out they find he's dead. Duke says, "He saved my life and he was already dead." Meanwhile, "Rooster Cogburn" was a really lame movie, and isn't in the same league as "True Grit," which was made by one of the better directors, Henry Hathaway.

Josh

Name: Jon Cross
E-mail: gimmesugar@hotmail.com

Josh

I shall try an be brief, I am sorry if I get verbose.

So you don't feel that expanding an idea/character or exploring it further in a sequel/trilogy can be and is often valid if the film maker feel they have a further story to tell.

Evil Dead 2, yes you could argue was to line their pockets. As I have read, it was made because working on Crimewave was crappy and they wanted something familiar, popular and something over which they had control. Army of Darkness is a different beast though isn't it? would you really call that an unnessercary sequel?

Where as, what new can a remake add? We've seen the story, we know the character, we know the ending.

Want to make a horror in a cabin where people get picked off one by one then call it something else, Eli Roth did with Cabin fever - it doesn't have to be called The Evil Dead Remake.

Sequels and Trilogies have their place, the film maker may want money but they may also want to tell more stories with that character remakes have no place - what's the point?? why would we want a poorly imitated version of something we love??

That's what makes no sense or do I not have a point?

Jon

Dear Jon:

I guess you have a point, since so many others have made the same point, it's just not much of one as far as I'm concerned. Both sequels and remakes are made strictly for the money. This nonsense about having more stories to tell with those characters is hooey. The reason ED2 was made was because, after "Crimewave" utterly tanked, that's the only deal they could get at the time. And the reason AOD was made was because it was a viable deal between Dino DeLaurentiis and Universal. The reason every sequel and remake is made is for money, plain and simple, and that to me is an insufficient reason to make a movie, or at least for me to see it. They're not making "Indy 4" because they happened to find a great Indiana Jones story that cried out to be made. They want to wring some more money out of the franchise before they're too old.

Josh

Name: Question
E-mail: ernstyanning@hotmail.com

<<You could try moving. But if a process server intends to find you, they will. And since they don't get paid until they've served you, they'll make sure you're served. When someone avoided me, at home and at work, I'd set my alarm clock for 5:00 AM, then go to their house and wake them up. Some people think that if they don't touch or sign the subpoena, they haven't officially been served, but that's nonsense. If you're in the presence of the process server, you've been served.>>

So if I don't open the door and I don't answer, I've still been served? So that whole movie SERVING SARA is bullshit, he didn't need a picture to serve Bruce Campbell. I got served once, the man thought he was tricking me by dressing up as a cable guy, but I beat him to the quick, which caught him off guard. He wasn't supposed to serve me anyways, I had struck a deal with the people the day before, so they dropped it. For some reason, the paperwork went through and I lost by default, but that was their fuckup, they let it go.

So if you get sued and you don't answer it, you lose by default. And then if you don't contact them or try to pay them, do you go to jail? As I said before, sounds like a cool job, I'm always on the other side of it.

Dear Q:

"Serving Sara" had nothing to do with reality. The point of a process server, as opposed to just using the mail or FedEx, is that there's a human being who could, if called, testify in front of a judge that the subponea was actually given to the person. Whether or not they've signed it or touched it doesn't matter, but they do have be in your presence. It was kind of a cool job, for menial, reasonably thoughtless, labor. I was almost always done by noon.

Josh

Name: Kathleen Lacour
E-mail: kathygoal@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

I know that Anthony Quinn died in Boston, MA, but where was he burried?

Dear Kathleen:

I didn't know he died in Boston.

Josh

Name: Jeremy Milks
E-mail: admin@homecomingcreations.com

Dear Josh:

I'm not kidding myself. So you don't like Harrison Ford or think he's a good actor, so what? I do. That's all there is to it. I was simply supporting my reasons for likeing Temple of Doom, though I have said that of the three Indiana Jones films, it's the least good. I like dry humor, which Harrison Ford can do. Like in Last Crusade when they're walking through a tunnel with all the portraits and the woman looks at one and says: "What's that?" Indy: "The Ark of the Covenent" Woman: "You sure?" Indy: "Pretty sure."

You have to have seen Raiders of the Lost Ark to get that joke of course, but it's rather dry and it made me laugh.

Everybody has different tastes, not all equal to each other for sure, and that's why there are so many different types of films.

You know, you're kinda becoming a movie Nazi. If all films aren't up to your standards, then they're shit, and anybody who likes the films you don't like are the enemy.

I love movies more than anything in this world, but I think you're going a little overboard.

Jeremy Milks

Dear Jeremy:

I think you're goung underboard. There's nothing cute or lovable about hanging onto your 12-year-old tastes. As you get older your taste is supposed to get better, like wine. I loved Bugs Bunny as a kid, but I got over it. I'm not a Nazi, I'm an adult. As an adult you cannot defend "Temple of Doom." It's a badly-written, poorly-performed, somewhat offensive, boring movie. Just because your inner child still loves the films it saw when it was a child is not a rational defense of blatant junk.

Josh

Name: Beth
E-mail: oddlief@gmail.com

Dear Josh,

First of all let me say something I said to a friend who is the same height as you are: wow, you look much taller than that. I was really interested to know your answer to the last question I asked prior to the height question. You do say brevity is the wit of the soul. I suppose I was doing as you said and asking for the sake of asking. But if you would rather I not write at all I suppose I can stop.

Cheers,
Beth

Dear Beth:

You can write in whenever you'd like, just try to wait until you think up good questions.

Josh

Name: martyn perry
E-mail: evileyeperry@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

cheers for the advice about Bulgaria, but as a stop gap for six months maybe i could find something i suppose. I'll stay optimistic untill i actually get there in about a years time. So after AA i have dug out all those old DVD's from the past again and watched Running Time the other night. (BTW. they released evil dead special edition in the UK again for like the 14th time or something but this one comes with your film running time as you may be aware. Congratulations are in order as i think maybe more than the expected 100 people will actually see your film now! lol)

Anyway, what i wanted to know was, after watching Running Time and listening to the commentary there seemed to be so much passion for everything relating to that movie, whereas with Bruce on AA your commentary really seemed to be in a more humourous and throwaway manner when regarding the film. I wondered what your actual incentive was to change genre's so radically between films. I feel that Running Time is an absolute major achievement for all those involved and watching it again recently just reminded me of what a quality film and perhaps criminally underrated film it is. (its rated at 7.1 compared to like episode III's 8 or something, thats offensive!) But for me, despite enjoying both films for different reasons, i feel that running time is more my style of film and a major step above AA in terms of acting, style, script, and the overall finished product. Don't get me wrong, i do like AA as a Bruce doing his thing with aliens (which despite what people say, do look fantasic for a sci-fi production, congrats to unreal) throwaway movie, but in all i just really began to wonder why you went back in this direction again after seamingly being bored with the genre from the majority of your responses to other peoples questions.

BTW..(sorry its so long but...i know you have "If i had a hammer..." on VHS, yet as this won't work on a UK VHS player i wondered if there was anyway you could put a copy of the film on VCD or SVCD or even a write to a DVD. I obviously have multi-region and i just wondered if you had the ability to do that. I'm very much interested in completing your filmography as i've had a couple of Becker nights introducing your work to my buddies recently. (what was interesting was that on one occasion we watched reservoir dogs then running time then sin city and being completely honest most people who watched it with me preferred your style to the other noirish films we covered that night...cool huh?) Thanks again...MArtyn

Dear martyn:

Actually, I didn't know that's how they were going to do it. I'll ask them about it. I think 6 months is probably enough to get the lay of the land, meet those whom you'd need to meet at the various companies, get your photo around, and let them know that you'll actually show up if they call you, etc. Oh yeah, some talent or good looks wouldn't hurt, either. Thanks for the information.

So, I go over to Anchor Bay, which is just a few miles from here, and they gave me a dozen copies of "Alien Apocalypse." I asked about "Running Time" being on the new UK "Evil Dead" DVD, and nobody knew nothin'. I'm still checking. Yes, it pleases me that "Running Time" played well with those other films. As for why I "went back" to "Alien Apocalypse," which was a 15-year-old script, is that someone wanted to finance it. This wasn't a conscious career move, it's what was available. But if I get to shoot my script, with Bruce and Renee, and get paid for it, I'm doing it.

Josh

Name: Jonathan Moody
E-mail: jondoe_555@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

I know the IMDB is very questionable as a resource for movies but do you know anything about the movie "The Nutt House" that was said to be written by Sam and Ivan Raimi, Scott Spiegel, and Bruce Campbell? You can buy the DVD at Amazon or rent it from Netflix but I just don't believe that they had anything to do with that considering that was after Lunatics and right before Army of Darkness. I mean if its true and is really made by them you must have heard something about it. I just gotta know if its really a disaster that they thought was so awful they had to take their names off of it.

Your fan,
Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

It was originally called "The Nutty Nut," and all of those guys were involved at some point or another. It was Scott Spiegel's project, but he got 86ed as the director. I've never seen it. Sam and Scott went through a phase where they kept writing and making films called "The Goofy Goof" and "The Klutzy Klutz" and things like that.

Josh

Name: Chris kilgour
E-mail: shenaniganz@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

DAMMIT..
Ok I've been sick lately so I've had a chance to rent out some movies....so today i get Ben Hur and I'm really enjoying it (also wondering if I'd seen it before because it seemed rather familar to me) and I'm nearly an hour into it and then the disc goes all glitchy and doesn't stop cutting out! It wouldn't stop so I was forced to take the disc out ugh....

It pissed me off greatly but luckily I had another movie to watch..Apoclypse Now. I put the tape in the machine and guess what happens...the tape shoots back out and the actual tape is hanging out of the cassette. Luckily I was able to fix it and get it working. I really enjoyed that movie.

I'll have to return that copy of "Ben Hur" and get a new one....the horror, the horror...

BTW the new edition of Ben Hur is out and it includes the 1925 silent Ben Hur aswell (just incase you didn't know).

Also, I'm guessing you buy alot of dvds, so what's your collection like? meaning like how many do you own etc...

Dear Chris:

I don't buy a lot of DVDs, and I don't really have that many. I'm not really a collector. Generally, once I've seen a movie, that sufficient. I've got about 6-7 of William Wyler's films on DVD, and some of the Best Pictures (I have all of the Best Pictures on tape). But for the most part, I watch a movie, then immediately delete it.

Josh

Name: Question
E-mail: ernstyanning@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Since you were once a process server, what's the best way to avoid them at all costs? Apparently a law was passed that says I can no longer file bankrupt. It seems like a good law to me, I just wish I weren't on the other side of it.

Dear Q:

You could try moving. But if a process server intends to find you, they will. And since they don't get paid until they've served you, they'll make sure you're served. When someone avoided me, at home and at work, I'd set my alarm clock for 5:00 AM, then go to their house and wake them up. Some people think that if they don't touch or sign the subpoena, they haven't officially been served, but that's nonsense. If you're in the presence of the process server, you've been served.

Josh

Name: August
E-mail: joxerfan@hotmail.com

Dear Josh,

You often mention little tidbits about your various collaborators in passing, when discussing scripts and stories. I think we'd all enjoy seeing an essay on collaboration in general - what your views on it are, when it works best, when it doesn't work, what some of your experiences have been, and how you came to collaborate with each of your writing partners over the years. Just a suggestion. :)

Regards,

August

Dear August:

Always good to hear from you. I don't think there's a whole essay there, not to mention it's not a great idea to diss that many people. Collaborating hasn't been a great experience for me, for the most part. Bruce and I have co-written several stories over the years, and those were always fun, but we never actually sat down and wrote together. My collaboration with Scott Spiegel started off well, then got more difficult with each passing script. My first collaboration with Paul Harris, fifteen years ago, didn't go all that well and Paul is still holding grudges against me regarding it. But the last two scripts with Paul went very well, mainly because they're both zany comedies, and in that genre a co-writer is almost essential.

Josh

Name: tere
E-mail: tere_mtz11@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

donde puedo conseguir la pelicula, ya que soy fan se los actores.

Dear tere:

Agua caliente. Boxeo en esta esquina. No comprende Spanish.

Josh

Name: Jon Cross
E-mail: gimmesugar@hotmail.com

Dear Josh,

You really aren't a fan of the twin beardys Lucas and Speilburg and I don't blame you, I applaud you for it...

I have to say something that I am normally shouted down or beaten up for saying - I don't like Star Wars, never really saw the point... I have my reasons but that's a whole other debate.

Also I like to pretend that Spielberg didn't make Jaws because I like Jaws and disslike almost all other beardy Berg offerings - except, I am afraid to say, Indiana Jones 1 (for Karen Allen) and 3 (for Sean Connery and Denholm Elliot drunk in a tank) - Temple of Doom is an unadulterated piece of crap.

But I don't see your link between their invention of the kids blockbuster and 'reality' television unless you mean the 'dumbing down makes us more cash' comparison - is that what you meant?

Which I understand and agree with - trouble is I can also UNDERSTAND why someone would like the continued offerings of El beardo twins Luke Ass and Speilbum and as bad as their work is, and some of it is very very offensive - War of the Worlds, Amistad, Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clowns - to name a few, I don't find it AS offensive as Paris Hilton in the House of Wax remake.... Or the director of the soon to be thrown at us Wicker Man remake (I am in shock - they're going to remake the Wicker Man????? eh???) stating in an interview, and I am paraphrasing but this is completely true -

We have changed the setting, the plot, the characters & the themes but we are big fans of the original and are working hard to retain the original's 'spirit'

- what does that even mean???

As offensive and banal and kid pandering and money seeking as Lucas and Spielberg are - they were, before War of the Worlds and the Phantom Menace, Film makers, whether we like them or not. The people they have in charge of films these days are idiots, full blown idiots, talentless idiots... read the above quote again and say it ain't so...

Also they are arrogant swines too, because you don't ever hear a modern artist saying - "I know I shall re-paint the Mona Lisa to introduce it to a new audience only this time, lets give her a frown" or a modern musician saying - "You know, I love the Beatles but they need a new audience so lets get 4 less-talented people to dress up like them, call them the same name, play all the same music but then have the audacity to change the lyrics... Hey Jude is nice and everything but how about Hey Ian? Donald in the Sky with Rubies or Colonel Salt's Rotting Liver's Club Band ??"

I think all this is why fans are so so so so SOO put off by the Evil Dead remake idea, it's not as if after Spiderman Sam needs the money, surely!

but if money is the aim of the game and it definately is with remakes, with the present climate of fandom surrounding the movies, toys, comics, video games, conventions etc. it makes more financial sense to make a fourth one than a remake but that obviously involves creativity rather than palming the original idea off to another director while lying back and reaping the benefits.

Now, please don't get me wrong, I don't want a fourth evil dead (I am a hardcore ED fan and I don't want a 4th one -HONESTLY) I would apsolutely adore a new Rob,Sam,Bruce movie with all the Michiganders shemping their butts off but that's a different beast)

A remake is just the worst idea I have ever ever heard, ok not AS bad as Paris Hilton in House of Wax or remaking the Wicker Man but it's a pretty damn close third and I don't buy this whole - it's for a new audience, it's for new kids to discover and blah blah blah!

Well I own the Maltease Falcon, it was made 39 years before I was born. It was on the earth long enough before me to have a 20 year old child, if it were human. Yet it is one of my favourite films.

Even Evil Dead started shooting a year before I was born and I discovered it, also I discovered it long before the renewed hype about it as well. I discovered it before the toys and t-shirts and laser discs and dvds and posters etc. It wasn't even that hard either - it was and remains a very well liked Horror classic that will be passed down, just like The Wicker man - it really doesn't need a remake.

and that argument goes for all remakes, if they were good films originally they will find a new audience, chances are they already have.

The other thing I have noticed about remakes, and it can be said for War of The Worlds as an adaption of a book, Lets take what made the original source material Iconic and write a new movie around it:

Dawn of the Dead (Zombies - check, Shopping Mall - check, Intelligence/metaphor/undertones/good dialogue - er.... in the post, Zombie baby - What the hell were they thinking??!!??!!)

The Italian Job (Heist - check, Minis - check, Italy - if we throw it in at the beginning for 30 seconds maybe that will justify this low-grade/half-arsed/atrocious film being made, Bridger-dies-pathetic-daughter-romance-Ed-Norton sub-plot - What the hell were they thinking??!!??)

It's completely maddening and actually, to a film passionate pallet like mine, offensive - Don't you think Josh?

Josh?

Josh!!??

Josh wake up I am done now......

Dear Jon:

As I often quote, "Brevity is the soul of wit." Meanwhile, I didn't make any connection between kid's blockbusters and reality TV. I still believe that the intention behind the film means a lot. When Charlie Band or Roger Corman make a film, it's meant to be a low-budget piece of crap, and if indeed that's how it turns out, that's what they meant. But these Spielberg and Lucas films, which are as expensive as movies can be, with the longest shooting schedules, were meant to be high-budget, top-quality movies, and when they turn out to be hammered shit, that's a huge difference between what was intended and what came out. And after this endless stream of shitty remakes, I no longer care what is remade, whether it's "House of Wax" or "Evil Dead," it's all the same thing. It's not for my enjoyment, it's to line their pockets. Period. The same goes for all the sequels, too. How you and others can say that sequels are all right, but remakes are bad baffles me. They're both equally as bad, thoughtless, derivative, and never intended to be good.

Josh

Name: Beth
E-mail: oddlief@gmail.com

Dear Josh,

I was wondering, how tall are you? I was looking at the scrapbook pictures from "Alien Apocalypse" and thought you were about Bruce's height. But after seeing a pic of you with Campbell Cooley on some fan site, it seemed to me that you are taller than Bruce or Campbell. I know it seems a silly thing to wonder about, but hey what can I say I'm a silly person sometimes.

Thanks,
Beth

Dear Beth:

I'm 5' 10". Bruce has to be 6' 1", he's quite a bit taller than me.

Josh

Name: Kevin Kindel
E-mail:

"I saw "Chisum" with John Wayne."

I want to see "How The West Was Won", because I heard it's pretty good. Which John Wayne film do you think holds up the best (story-wise)?

Dear Kevin:

My favorite John Wayne film is "True Grit." Beside having Duke at his very best, it's got a terrific cast of: Robert Duvall, Kim Darby, Strother Martin, Jeff Corey and Dennis Hopper, beautiful cinematgraphy by Lucien Ballard, very strong direction by Henry Hathaway, and a really, a wonderful Elmer Bernstein score, and a really well-written script was some of the best period dialog in any film ever. I love that film. Other good John Wayne films are: "Stagecoach," "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," "Fort Apache," "Red River," "Rio Grande," "The Quiet Man," "Hondo" (in 3-D), "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," "The Longest Day," "Rio Bravo," "Rio Lobo." As for "How the West Was Won," which was a seminal influence on my life, is not that great if it's not in Three-screen Cinerama. It was never meant to be shown on TV, and was shot in much too wide of a format for a small screen, plus you can see the connecting lines between the three pieces of film. But I go with that movie up to George Peppard's entrance. The Jimmy Stewart part really got me as a little kid, as did the Civil War section with the Duke.

Josh

Name: Scott Hess
E-mail: skot101@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Thanks for the fantastic article. I wrote my first horror film screenplay and optioned it for $1 to a tiny company. Am I fool for doing that? It has since gotten several great "reader" write ups from small film companies. Filmingk (whom I optioned it to) has until August to pay me for the script. I am writing a second script. Am I on track? Any input or suggested reading is greatly appreciated.
Swimming without a life jacket
Scott Hess

Dear Scott:

Which article? There's a lot of shit on this website. If your film actually gets made, then optioning it for a dollar was a brilliant idea. Meanwhile, it's not like you lost anything in the deal. Just finding someone who's interested is a big deal. Filmingk looks like typo. Have you read William Goldman's two filmmaking/screenwriting books, "Adventures in the Screen Trade" and "Which Lie Did I Tell?"? There's parts of both of them that can be skipped, or not, but 2/3 of each of them are great, and give you a pretty good sense of the film business.

Josh

Name: Martyn Perry
E-mail: evileyeperry@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

ha ha ok then yeah must be my imagination! On a debatebly more serious note i am planning a tour of europe and from hearing the dvd commentary of apocalypse an idea struck me. I have always been a keen drama student and i am obviously english speaking so on my tour through bulgaria what are the chances of finding some work on some small movies and earning a few notes? Do you have any recommendations or advice you could give regarding this matter? I want to know if it's realistic that i could pull off travelling from the uk to bulgaria to work with a few extras or get some minor roles. Thanks for your time as always,
martyn

Dear Martyn:

I think it would take a bit more dedication than just as a cool little gig you pick up while traveling through. Nothing happens with movies when it's supposed to, and actors and extras all have to be available, easy to contact, and know how to get places locally. The people who have taken advantage of the situation, like Michael Corey Davis, who played the astronaut in AA, actually live there. Aside from that, Michael happens to be a good actor, handsome, and in great shape, too, but he also lives in Sofia full-time.

Josh

Name: Beth
E-mail: oddlief@gmail.com

Dear Josh,

What would you do if a crazed fan showed up on your doorstep?

Cheers,
Beth

Dear Beth:

Please stop asking questions just for the sake of asking questions. Thanks.

Josh

Name: Jeremy Milks
E-mail: admin@homecomingcreations.com

Dear Josh:

Whoa! I never said anything about equality. My taste might not be equal to yours, but at least it's mine. I can say that at least.

And I've seen a lot of the movies you hail as great films, and for the most part, I agree with you. I know a good film when I see it, I just like more kinds of films. That's why I like Star Wars and Indiana Jones and Donnie Darko and Spider-man and all the things you seem to hate. It's not like I go into the theater not knowing that they're childish films with adult undertones, I just don't care about that. If I like a film, I like it. I can tell you why I like all the films I do. Mostly it's humor. If I laugh at a film, I'm more prone to liking it.

That's why I like Temple of Doom. The story isn't great, I don't like Kate Capshaw, and while I don't mind Short Round any time you add a kid sidekick it's probably not gonna be great. But I think Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones well and his facial expressions make me laugh. That's what I like about Temple of Doom.

It's not like I wander aimlessly watching movies and going "der, der, I saw a movie." When I watch something, I really watch something, and even in the films I like, there are parts I don't. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is my favorite film. Why? I like the whole idea of what turns a good guy into a bad guy. I also like the theme of love being what ultimatly screwed him and made Anakin become Sith. Something I didn't like: I didn't like how so many of the characters were killed so fast and Christopher Lee and Samuel L. Jackson basically were shown long enough to die. Also, I didn't like Obi-Wan got thrown around so much like he was nothing ... accept for the end battle where he tromped Anakin's ass. Also, I think lightsabers are the coolest weapons ever imagined. I'd like to own one someday if they ever manufacture one.

I think it'd be better for a writer to like a lot of different types of films, even if they aren't adult films (and I don't mean porn). It just adds to their scope as a writer, I'd think. For instance, you can be a great comedy writer or drama writer, but what if you want to write a big epic drama set in some medieval war. Well, you might wanna dig into what you remembered about maybe the Gungan/Battle Droid fight from Star Wars Ep. 1 and kinda add the big open battle ground elements into it. That's a horrible example, but that's all I can think of right now because I'm tired. And to be honest I probably couldn't have said it any better if I were wide awake either. But I hope my point got made.

Basically, you never what might help you when writing.

Jeremy Milks

P.S. I know you don't like either Spider-man or Spider-man 2, but I was just wondering which one you thought was a better film, and also do they follow the correct structure of how films should go, or is the structure all fucked up.

Dear Jeremy:

I don't want to discuss "Spider-Man" or "Star Wars." If the reasonably dull actor like Harrison Ford, with his reasonably uninteresting facial tics, can cause you to like a piece of unmitigated shit like "Temple of Doom," then your taste is highly questionable. Don't kid yourself.

Josh

Name: Albert Richard
E-mail: ambrichard@msn.com

Josh,

Thank you for your comments on "Savior" and my Port Townsend Writer's workshop. I am still having no luck finding the script of "Savior". I may be forced to write my own extract from the film (No Fun). Is there a main source of produced scripts in L.A? I could write to the Producers but I have no clue how to do that. If there is a simple solution and you have the time please e-mail me. Another idea: If I make 1000 copies of my current movie script and drop them from a helicopter onto various movie studio offices, do you think it might be read--or will I be jailed for littering?

Best Wishes,

Albert Richard

Dear Albert:

You'll be jailed for littering. Producers don't read scripts that come in "over the transom," even if it's from a helicopter, which is severely over the transom. You must find an agent, and that is a creepy, sad, dispiriting procedure. I don't know the credits of "Savior" offhand, but perhaps you could contact the screenwriter, either through a Google search, or possibly through the Writer's Guild. Good luck.

Josh

Name: Jon Cross
E-mail: gimmesugar@hotmail.com

Josh

YES YES YES YES damn are you right!!! that is the most infuriatingly bad thing people say these days "I don't wanna think about it, I just want to switch my brain off, I've had a hard day at work, I can't cope with acting and script and plot, I just want images of morons banging their heads together!!!" and on and on (there are so many variations!) I hear it most when I mention my disslike for Soap operas or reality Television

- is it me or is it really odd that people who go to work 8 hours a day in a tedius job then come home, flick on the tube and watch more mindless droids going to work in an office or a kitchen or whatever venue they've picked for tonights episode of Celebrity Holiday Farm Antique Make Over Accident !

Everytime I happen to catch 30 seconds of these shows, as I am putting another classic film in my DVD/Video player, people just seem to be arguing with each other - and people can switch their brain off to it?! madness....

and unfortuntely it has become the same with movies... somewhere along the line I blame Blair Witch (which, again in my opinion, was just a dire, uninteresting, irritating and bad piece of filmaking) - spending millions of pounds advertising a $12,000 film (or whatever they claim it cost) via rumours, internet hype and clever teaser trailers under the guise that it was 'real' did not make for a good film - at all!

Do you get all this reality/celebrity/talent shows in the states too?? and what do you think of it?? do you think it will seap into films? (Paris Hilton in the Horrible horrible horrible House of Wax for example) has it begun to already?

Can you believe we live in a world where the phrase 'Paris Hilton in The House of Wax REMAKE' not only can be said, it is true! does that not send the coldest of cold shivers down your spine?

are my questions tiresome? and should I not be in bed at 1am on a work night?

All the best
Jon

Dear Jon:

There's nothing new about any of this. Not only do I not want to see any sit-coms, I don't want to see anymore cop shows, ever. I'm bored to shit with cops. I don't like cops in reality, and I don't want to watch them on TV. Meanwhile, you can blame "The Blair Witch Project," but the issues all go back much further than that. I still lay it all at the feet of "Star Wars." The biggest moneymaker of 1975 was "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," a terrific adult film about people. The biggest moneymaker of 1976 was "Rocky," a terrific bright little low-budget film about people. In 1977 it was "Star Wars," a kid's film about special effects; in 1978 it was "Superman," another kid's film about special effects; 1979 it was "The Empire Strikes Back," a sequel of a kid's film about special effects; 1980 was "Raiders of the Lost Ark," a kid's film about special effects, etc. and it's never stopped since then.

Josh

Name: Question
E-mail: ernstyanning@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Have you ever eaten an MRE? I tried one, it's sadly better than anything at McDonald's, Wendy's, Sonic, but the dairy shakes suck. It reminded of TREMORS 2: AFTERSHOCKS, when Burt the gun nut passes them out to everyone like they just HAVE to like it, and later Fred Ward eats one and spits it out saying the chicken tastes like toilet paper,... "That is toilet paper"

Dear Q:

Yes, I've had MREs, and I thought they were pretty good, for what they were. I liked that there were a lot of little things, like a pack of Charms candy. It's a little weird eating corned beef that comes out like toothpaste, but it didn't taste bad. I went to a summer c amp as kid that had C-rations, the old version of MREs, and most that shit sucked, although the pound cake was good.

Josh

Name: Kevin Kindel
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

I just watched a very intriguing documentary called: Chisholm '72. It's about Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to earn a seat in congress, and more specifically her unsuccessful bid for U.S. presidency in 1972.

It's amazing to me, despite the racism and public scrutiny, how this truly courageous woman is virtually forgotten by history.kind of like film legend Alice Guy, etc. For what? Fighting the white man's system? Pretty fucking sad.

Dear Kevin:

I saw "Chisum" with John Wayne.

Josh

Name: Martyn Perry
E-mail: Evileyeperry@hotmail.com

Hey there Josh, just wandered if you could confirm something for me. I was watching my newly arrived alien apocalypse dvd (all the way to the uk, yay!) and i noticed that the supermodel rosita appeared to have a wonkey broken looking nose in the final scenes of the movie compared to the rest of the film. i just wandered if you had an explanation or a funny story connected to this or whether its just my eyes deceiving me. I listened to some of the commentary and it appears you don't mention it, just erm... well...those erect nipples. well spotted. cheers again mate and i hope to god theres a funny story (i'm thinkin out of control alien mite on a dolly tragedy!)

Dear Martyn:

You imagination is running away with you. There was nothing wrong with Rossi's nose, other than possibly some smeared dirt. Regarding her erect nipples, it was difficult for me to pay attention to anything else. Quite frankly, they didn't have to be erect for me to be fascinated looking at her.

Josh

Name: Greene
E-mail: greene_chs@hotmail.com

Josh

Have you seen "Tarnation"? It's a documentary about a guy named Jonathan Couette and his troubled past with his mother and how drugs both affected them. If it comes your way, give it a chance. It was made for about $218 on a home computer, editing together 20 years of home video and its pretty powerful.

Dear Brett:

I watch every documentary available to me, most of which are on Sundance Channel. I'll keep my eyes peeled, as they always are.

Josh

Name: Question
E-mail: ernstyanning@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Okay, I have seen THE SEVEN SAMURAI and YOJIMBO, so I do see what you mean about RAN being drug out in comparison to the above mentioned. However, RAN is still kind of a good movie. I mean, is the pacing really any different from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY? They both seem to take forever, but it doesn't really bother me. Did you ever drop acid for 2001? When in the film did you do it, the beginning, the end with the colored negative of another planet (which kind of reminds me of BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS)

Still I'd take THE SEVEN SAMURAI over all those films. They spend damn near an hour rounding these guys up begging for protection and then everyone gets paranoid about them stealing their women... AND THERE'S ONLY SEVEN OF THEM WORKING FOR RICE. Only a couple are interested in the women. I'd think that a fair trade for my life, at least the girls could have somebody who could defend them. And then the crazy man breaks down crying because the kid he pulled out of a fire reminds him of his childhood.

On YOJIMBO, who do you think made the better Man With No Name, Clint Eastwood, or the Samurai? (I'd pick the samurai, he doesn't carry a gun, so its not a fair fight at the end, plus its fucking cool that the sword fights don't last that long unlike recent films).

Dear Q:

Then again, Clint's gunfights don't last very long, either. And they did improve the line from "Yojimbo" to the coffin maker, when he tells him to build five coffins, then he kills five guys. In "Fistful of Dollars" he tells the coffin maker to build five coffins, then kills six guys. As he walks back he says, "My mistake. Six coffins." Although Toshiro Mifune is brilliant as Yojimbo, and gives possibly the best performance from behind ever, in "Fistful" it was the first time we ever got to see Clint Eastwood do that tough-guy western performance, which then became his trademark, and that's his Dirty Harry Callahan performance, too. I was ten when I saw both "A Fistful of Dollars" and "A Few Dollars More" (back when sequels could have different names, not just another Roman numeral), and those films felt like they changed my life (they were originally released as a double-bill here in the the U.S.). Regarding LSD and "2001" (which I think is much more interesting than "Ran," which does have a few good images), I'd take the acid about an hour before the film started so that I'd be tripping during the whole film. It always took an hour or so to get off, and acid was a long trip, usually 8-12 hours, so there was no fear of coming down during the film, or before the "Jupiter and Beyond" section at the end. As a note: The last time I took acid was in 1978 when I had a very bad trip, and was reasonably certain that I was going to die. Luckily, though, I didn't.

Josh

Name: Jon Cross
E-mail: gimmesugar@hotmail.com

Hey Josh, glad you liked my comments about War of The Worlds.

All I emant by the 'film student' Kurosawa, Herzog, Polanski or Bergman comment was that it is one of the arguments that is thrown at me sometimes - "oh you just love highbrow films, you only like arty pictures, that's why you hate blockbusters etc. etc." I get that a lot because I would say that 95% of the things that come out in the cinemas and are deemed "popular" are in fact bilge, in my opinion.

So all I was saying was that I can appreciate trashy 'alien attack' movies as much as the next man, but War of the Worlds didn't even work on a cheesy crappy fun level....

I wasn't meaning to say that it made me a better person or that Kurosawa, Herzog, Polanski or Bergman's work is bad, I love films by all those directors, I was merely, in my essay, trying to come up with arguments against the stuff people accuse me of -

Oh you love the book so you hate that they changed it for the film

Oh you only like high brow stuff so you hate it cos it's a blockbuster

etc...

and I was merely just answering those objections that people throw at me all the time....

I hope this has cleared it all up *GRIN* and that I don't come off like a chump anymore...

from a chump
all the best
Jon

Dear Jon:

I understood where you were coming from, but I didn't appreciate the tone, which I guess is what you were after. I get that same thing all the time, so maybe I'm just touchy about it. "You don't watch movies the way the rest of us do. We just want to be entertained," which is an excuse for lunkheaded stupidity. I want to be entertained, too, but I'm not willing to put up with just anything for that purpose. In the old days, hangings were considered highly entertaining. This attitude of "I just turn my brain off and watch whatever's in front of me," is offensive. In most people's cases they don't need to turn their brains off because they were never on to begin with.

Josh

Name: Jeremy Milks
E-mail: admin@homecomingcreations.com

"No, there's more to it than that. It's called taste and discrimination (in its proper usage). If you don not have these attributes, you will never make a good film."

I have taste, it's just different than yours. I've got a bunch of ideas for screenplays which I've been working on outlines and everything like that for awhile now, and some of the films are films I think are good, others I know aren't good but I think they'd be fun to make if nothing else. I think up movies that I'd like to see. Some of the movies I'd like to make would cost me like $100 million to make, and may be similar to other films, but there still a film I'd like to see.

Writing movies that you like, and not just going with trends is something you've been promoting for awhile, and I agree with you on that. But hey, I like the Star Wars films more than any other film out there, so if I ever do a science fiction film and it has similarities, what can I really say?

Hey, of all the movies you've seen this year, what do you think is the best (so far at least), and what do you think is the worst?

Jeremy Milks

Dear Jeremy:

I haven't seen five 2005 releases, so I'm in no position to comment. In this PC world everything is supposedly equal: your taste is equal to my taste; your religion is equal to that other one; your country is equal to that other country, etc. The only problem is that it's not true. Everything isn't equal. Yes, our tastes are different, but that doesn't make them equal. You really and truly need to see a lot more movies, so that you can see why "Temple of Doom" and the "Star Wars" films are crap. These are screenplays written with shit on toilet paper. George Lucas can't write a script to save his fucking life, and his writing process is completely offensive. First off, he openly admits that he "hates writing." Gee, that's great. Second, he writes one page, then walks it over to ILM and they begin breaking it down and working on the FX. That way no one ever sees a complete script, and there are never any rewrites. As writer, Lucas sucks. I'd say he also sucks as a producer, although he's not a terrible director. But just because you really like velvet paintings of big-eyed children and clowns doesn't mean for one second that your taste is equal to an art connoisseur who knows what they're talking about. If you seriously believe that "Temple of Doom" is a good movie, then ergo you nothing about good writing, and you need to study up on the subject.

Josh

Name: Charles
E-mail: cscorder@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

I watched "Kingdom of Heaven" last night, and now I regret I'll never have those 2-plus hours of my life back. Like you always say, the problems start with the script. Why make a movie on the Crusades when you have characters running around saying and doing things that are historically inaccurate? And Ridley Scott can't shoot a battle scene to save his life. And I hear that Scott is planning a "director's cut" that's at least an hour longer. Haven't we suffered enough? There's no amount of extra footage that can make this movie make sense.

On a brighter note, I've watched "Alien Apocalypse" again, this time on DVD both with and without commentary, and it never fails to entertain and amuse me. I look forward to your upcoming book and your next movie.

Sincerely,
Charles

Dear Charles:

Thanks. Not to mention, regarding the Crusades, that the entire endeavor from the side of the crusaders was evil and creepy, and everything they were doing was stupid and awful, so why would anyone want to see that? You really have to twist the facts around backward to make the Christians the good guys. The Muslims were he good guys during the Crusades and the Christians were the barbarian hordes. It's like the stupid film "El Cid," which tries to make him out to be a hero ("The Christian Conqueror"), when in fact he was an illiterate barbarian trying to burn down the greatest libraries in the world, assembled by the Moors in Cordoba and Toledo. Cecil B. DeMille tried the same thing with "The Crusades" in 1935 and failed.

Josh

Name: Jeff Alede
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

Who's this Paul Harris you keep mentioning? How did you and him get together? I thought you don't like to have a writing partner?

Dear Jeff:

I don't, generally, but writing comedy is different. It's difficult to know what's actually funny by yourself. Also, with this kind of comedy, meaning slapstick, you really must have a few hundred gags, and that's a lot of gags, even for two people. Meanwhile, I've known Paul Harris since he was the assistant editor on TSNKE in 1985. We wrote our first script, "Buds," in 1991 (I think), and that was so rough that we didn't write together again until "The Horribleness" last year. But that went so well that we immediately jumped into "It's a Lost, Lost World," which also seems to have turned out pretty well.

Josh

Name: Jonathan Moody
E-mail: jondoe_555@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

Is that the same scott who would later work with Clint Eastwood co-writing a dismal of a buddy cop movie called, "The Rookie". I'm glad to see Spiegel is making more hammy independent horror movies like what is said to be slated on his Raw Nerve website. And from what I've heard Eli Roths new movie "Hostel" which I think will be done by Raw Nerve should be pretty good. I mean he did a great job with "Cabin Fever" as a first film. All the girls I've ever known HATE that movie with a vengence and get mad when I said it made me laugh. But I'm guessing you probably weren't a fan of Cabin Fever.

Your fan,
Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

Oddly, I didn't see "Cabin Fever." It sounds like nothing more than a lame ED rip-off. Yes, that's the same Scott Spiegel who co-wrote "The Rookie."

Josh

Name: Question
E-mail: ernstyanning@yahoo.com

<<Dude, there was no Noah. That's an ancient Babylonian story (and it's probably older than that) which was ripped off for the old testament bible. It's part of the Babylonian epic, "Gilgamesh," and pre-dates the bible by at least 2,000 years.>>

Say that again. one more time. ah, music to my ears. I was raised Baptist and those people sucked.

I saw a good sex scene in FIVE EASY PIECES (on hand held I think). Jack Nicholson is banging this woman and he's twirling her around the room and the camera is just swinging around with him. It goes by so fast you don't even notice or care about the one breast that popped up on screen.

wait wait wait. That's a example about growing up. Jack Nicholson hangs out with the ditzy chick (and cheats on her), then meets an intelligent woman in act three and even though he doesn't get her, he can't bring himself to go back to Karen Black.

Also, was CARBINE WILLIAMS a biopic?

P.S. I thought you just made the name hootnanny up till I saw this film. I bet you love the crowds standing in the street with their old cars. thanks for recommending NO DESTINATION HOME.

Dear Q:

For a second there I didn't know what you were talking about. You mean "No Direction Home," the Bob Dylan doc. Yeah, it was great. Meanwhile, that sex scene in "Five Easy Pieces" is one of my very favorites. And when he finishes and flings her on the bed, we see that his shirt says "Triumph." Great stuff. The girl, BTW, is Sally (Ann) Struthers, who would soon go on to "All in the Family." Yes, "Carbine Williams" is a biopic. But is it a really good one? I'd say no. It's okay.

Josh

Name: Jon Cross
E-mail: gimmesugar@hotmail.com

Hey Josh

Me Again! was flicking through your site and read your War of the Worlds review. You are 100% correct about this film - it was worthless, just worthless.
My own review of the film - posted on my Blog website (along with other reviews/opinions and writing) http://jonoftheclanofx.blogspot.com/ went something like this : Film Rants pt.2 "War of the Worlds"

War of the Worlds! War of the Worlds - piece of crap more like!

Take it as an adaptation of the book - it is incorrect, inaccurate and even dares to re-writes H.G.Wells' beautiful and original prose!

Take it as a film in its own right - it is badly written, badly directed, badly acted and has repeated hugely irritating moments, vast plot holes and is as inconsistent as a badly mixed flan.

What were they playing at? Why is Tom Cruise ever hired to play anything ever? Why was Tim Robbins, who is usually excellent (Nothing To Lose with Martin Lawrence - aside), reduced to playing a monosyllabic hick version of the excitable but deluded Ogilvy from the book? Why children? why family conflicts? Why for the love of God Why!

If Spielberg wanted to make 'Generic Alien Attack movie where, unlike my previous attempts at the genre, people actually die' then fine he should have gone ahead and made that but to call this War of the Worlds is a case for consumer support groups everywhere. What would you do if you bought a can of beans, got them home, opened them and found that it was infact a can of sick would you accept that? Maybe these days you would, you'd probably give it to the kid you had when you were 15, light up a cigarette, throw off your Burberry cap and wonder off, flick on the TV to see if anyone had copulated on Big Brother. I don't know anymore, I give up!

Ok so you could maybe say that my opinion of Tom Cruise, Spielberg, the script or the film etc. were all just opinions and you'd be right but when you look at this, well I hesitate to call it a film, as an adaptation of the book (or indeed any other subsequent version of the story), then, you can't deny the fact that it remains a case for the advertising commission, for this is one film that doesn't do anything it says on the tin.

Effects and a couple of pretty images do NOT justify this film! It wasn't even good popcorn b-movie laughable trash! I can sit through allsorts of stuff in the name of entertainment, I am not some film student sitting around in a Camden chic leather jacket discussing Kurosawa, Herzog, Polanski or Bergman, I like a trash 'They Came From Mars!' film as much as anyone else and probably more so! but it's just that this film doesn't even work on that level! It irritates like finger nails on a blackboard.

Hope you like the fact that we are not all mindless fools, some of us call it like we see it... I also have a remakes/sequel rant on my blog too... hope you enjoyed my comments.

Catch you further down the road
Jon

Dear Jon:

So, we agree. I don't see the need to pick on true cinefiles who watch Polanski, Herzog, Kurosawa and Bergman films. Saying that you watch "trash" doesn't make your opinion more valid, at least not to me. I would much prefer to discuss any of their movies to any of Spielberg's, at least those filmmakers are intelligent.

Josh

Name: Diana Hawkes
E-mail: upon request

Dear Josh:

Perhaps the muzzles are meant to keep the humans from biting their owners or each other?

I know that is the primary use for canine muzzles.

But I haven't seen Planet of the Apes in ages, I forget if their use was directly addressed. I suppose if their hands aren't tied behind their backs it's a pretty silly idea since humans can reach up/around and get it off. If only dogs could work buckles, eh?

Dear Diana:

The muzzle is only in the scene when Heston is brought before the Orangutan judges (James Whitmore is the head judge). It could be so that humans, when being judged, don't bite or growl. Anyway, that's where the muzzle idea came from.

Josh

Name: Chris
E-mail: shenaniganz@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Hey I see good movies but I just thought he was cool in those. I thought he was awesome in goodfellas and was pretty damn good in "Awakenings" (I'm sure that's the title...as I said it's early)....maybe you'll agree with me on that....

I keep checking anchor bay's website for updates about the TSNKE/RT dvd but nothing is there. I'm guessing there is nothing more you can tell us about that at the moment...or can you?

Also, about those silent screenings with only the score playing live, my mum keeps telling that they screen Ben Hur here in Auckland alot that way at the town hall or something. You came to Auckland didn't you? For Jack of all trades right? I think a dvd of that is being released. You can check it on amazon.

Dear Chris:

I spent a lot of time in Auckland, not just for "Jack," but for "Hercules" and "Xena," too. You should go see "Ben-Hur," the 1925 version is very cool, and higher-budget than the 1959 remake, which was pretty high-budget. Yes, Robert DeNiro was very good in "Goodfellas" and "Awakenings." You still need to see "Taxi Driver," and also check out "Mean Streets." No news on the RT/TSNKE release.

Josh

Name: Duffy
E-mail: g_duffy@bellsouth.net

Josh- well I did say Renny Harlin of all people. The only other thing I'd seen of his was Cutthroat Island which stunk. When I said names I meant the actors who get paid big bucks to often make unbearable films. Not as if these were names we wouldn't recognize in the course of conversation. i.e. Cruise (gag) Roberts, Clooney, Pitt etc... Personally I'd pick LL as a hero type rather than Cruise any day. As a side note not to give away the plot of a movie you'll probably never see, the "BIG" names Kilmer and Slater have very very small roles leaving the others with the bulk of the film. Food for thought?

Dear Duffy:

No. From the review I received from a friend, the film sounds awful. Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Indians" on an island, with no real clues to actually lead you to the killer. I refer to this sort of film as the "Oh-no-not him!"-type of story. The most egregious example was Clint Eastwood's "Tightrope," where a killer with a yellow tennis shoes and a face mask keeps killing hookers. Clint finally tracks him down, fights with him, then pulls off his mask, revealing -- it's somebody we've never met before. My friend Scott blurted out, ""Not him!" and got a big laugh from the audience.

Josh

Name: Cynthia E. Jones
E-mail: cynthia@cynthiaejones.com

Dear Josh,

I second the recommendation for "A Very Long Engagement." I watched it last week and was impressed -- not just with the way they digitally re-created 1920s-era Paris, but the story was compelling and much more downbeat than I'd expect from the creator of "Amelie." I was also swayed because it's a love story with a pair of people whom I believed loved one another, and I haven't seen that in a long time.

Otherwise-wise, I just had my tonsils out, which has been very fun. Liquid Vicodin! Oh yeah.

Take care,

Cindy

Dear Cindy:

Okay, I'll watch it when it comes on cable. Meanwhile, I watched "Finding Neverland" last night, which was okay, in a maudlin sort of way. Why a British film needs two Americans in the leads pretending to be British and Scottish, Johnny Depp and Dustin Hoffman, is entirely beyond me. We now have Brits and Aussies playing the Americans, and Americans playing the Brits. Have all filmmakers and casting directors lost their minds? It's not that Mr. Depp doesn't do a pretty good job with the Scottish brogue, but it causes him to have to screw up his face all the time, and it ultimately becomes the main focus of the film. I also found it weird to have Cate Winslett and Kelly MacDonald in the same film because they remind me of each other. But the film is ultimately just button-pushing sentimental schmaltz. And every scene with his drag of a wife is whispered, which I find very annoying.

Josh

Name: Jeremy Milks
E-mail: admin@homecomingcreations.com

Dear Josh:

One day I'll stop posting and you'll miss me :P

Aside from bugging rich relatives (who I don't have any of) or finding so way of getting so sort of foot in the door with possible financers, are there any other really "good" ways of raising funds for a film?

Lately I've been trying to get in touch with a bunch of agencies that say they help raise funds for films and hopefully that'll work out for me to some extent.

Or are they're any production companies that you've heard of that have a reputation for financing small budget (I'm talking $10,000 to $20,000) character driven kinda sorta dark comedy/drama (mostly drama) projects.

I'm grasping at straws, but Cedar Falls, IA has pretty much nobody interested in financing films. I've been talking with Gary Kroeger (of Saturday Night Live ... he moved back into town last year I think) and even he hasn't really come up with any succesful leads. A porn shop owner was willing to invest $100 in a project of mine once ... was gonna take it too, sadly, but he was so shady I decided it wasn't worth it ... and now I'm in credit card debt because of it, lol.

Jeremy Milks

P.S. One of the worst films or not, I still dig Temple of Doom, and whether or not we like a film is really all that matters isn't it?

Dear Jeremy:

No, there's more to it than that. It's called taste and discrimination (in its proper usage). If you don not have these attributes, you will never make a good film. If you're going to be a writer or a director, or both, you have to know why films are good or bad, then be able to apply it to your own projects. Without taste there is no talent, because then the talent is in regard to nothing. My other suggestion for getting money to make a movie is to get a good job and save your money. And I never said "rich relatives," I just said "relatives." It doesn't matter whether they have much money or not, you still need to get it from them. If you need to beg, then beg. There is no dignity in raising money. Otherwise, you must trick the system. Use the method I've suggested before, but not put to use -- make three or six (or whatever amount of) short films that all connect into one full-length feature, like Jim Jarmusch did with "Stranger Than Paradise," which is three people in a room in Act I, three people in a car and a house in Act II, then three people in a hotel room in Act III. Make each short film as good as you can possibly make it, then stick them together and off you go.

Josh

Name: Question
E-mail: ernstyanning@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Whoa! You thought BRAZIL should have won the oscars of the eligible? I thought you hated that film? Is this some kind of error? Or was it just past judgment?

Also I haven't seen HOW TO STEAL A MILLION, but I know there's a good film lesson in it. George C. Scott was giving William Wyler shit by not showing up on time and making bullshit excuses. Since he was a minor role, Wyler fired him on the spot and replaced him with Eli Wallach. Hey why put up with bullshit right?

Dear Q:

That's a mistake with "Brazil." I corrected it, but it somehow hasn't made it in. By that point of making that list, Rick and I were arguing so much I just gave into him. No, Wyler didn't put up with much bullshit, and he lived at a time when a director didn't have to. Now, being a director is like being part of a popularity contest. You go from kissing one ass to kissing another. Anyway, I still don't like "How to Steal a Million." It's supposed to be funny and it isn't.

Josh

Name: John Rambo
E-mail: johnnylovelucy@yahoo.com

Dear Josh,

Well I do (Rambo movies). Actually if you read First Blood, which they based the first film on after the book was published in 1972, Rambo was raised Catholic so he is a Christian. He doubts it at some point, but at the novel's conclusion he passes and it is described what occurs.

What I meant to say, I think it didn't come across totally, is that God exists. Apart from religions. The only religions that deal with this God are the three that came out of southwest Asia. Zoroastrianism might have hinted at it.

Bahais believe all of them came from God, actually not all of them did.

The reason I know is I've become wiser. :) Not because I attended church several times.

Ask a Taoist or a Confucianist (that's more of a philosophy) if his religion deals with the same God that spoke to Noah, or if they even knew of this the answer is no. That's what I meant by that the other religions don't know God.

Also by the way I wanted to profoundly apologize to the Heavenly Perfect Goddess Lucy :) if any of my comments have been disrespectful (definitely unintentionally) I totally Worship the Heavenly Perfect Goddess Lucy. :)

By the way, those astronauts (and cosmonauts) hardly go into space, they just land right back into the ocean.

Johnny Rambo

Dear John:

You have far too limited of a point of view to have any conception of "God." Dude, there was no Noah. That's an ancient Babylonian story (and it's probably older than that) which was ripped off for the old testament bible. It's part of the Babylonian epic, "Gilgamesh," and pre-dates the bible by at least 2,000 years. This utter nonsense you're spewing about other religions not knowing God is complete horseshit. No religions know God. These are children's fantasy stories dreamed up to help the ignorant and the young get through the vicissitudes of daily life. You didn't get wiser, you got stupider. The second you buy into one of these idiotic phony mass philosophies, you've given up thinking. You know God exists? Did you get that out of a Rambo movie? You've got a creepy perverted attitude toward Lucy Lawless, and you view life like a simpleminded eight-year-old. Grow up :).

Josh

Name: Chris
E-mail: shenaniganz@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

AH yes I knew I was missing one, Lawrence of Arabia is a very good one. I have yet to see Patton or the others you mentioned. I guess I kinda agree with you on "Ray" but I still enjoyed it. I guess it didn't need to be that long. I thought Jamie fox was pretty good though.

Also, what's your favourite Robert DeNiro movie? I'm guessing you are a fan of his, I am but i haven't seen like Taxi Driver which people say is very good. I liked him in movies like Cape Fear and The Fan and many, many others but it's early morning right now and I can't think of many others.

Thanks.

P.S seeing "Kwai" today I think/hope.

Dear Chris:

You really need to see better movies. "Cape Fear" and "The Fan" are two of DeNiro's very worst movies. "Cape Fear" may well be his single worst performance on film. Yes, Jamie Foxx was good as Ray Charles, but it was much more of an imitation than a performance. And, as usual with contemporary films, the script is incredibly weak. Oh, another good biopic is "Coal Miner's Daughter."

Josh

Name: Greene
E-mail: greene_chs@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

An interesting little article with homegrown talent Norman Jewison, a man who despite films like Bogus, makes me feel proud to be Canadian.

http://entertainment.sympatico.msn.ca/movies/articles/1331282.armx

Dear Brett:

Well, there's someone else who agrees with me. The film business really is in a shit hole, I'm not mking it up.

Josh

Name: Greene
E-mail: greene_chs@hotmail.com

Josh,

I just Mindhunters, too, and it was low-brow, idiotic and insulting to my intelligence. For a bunch of FBI Profilers, none of them used much cognitive skill.

Dear Brett:

Okay. You know, and this isn't addressed to you, I don't need constant recomendations of recent movies, it's really kind of annoying. And when I finally see them they all suck anyway.

Josh

Name: Danielle
E-mail: shw9w1@hotmail.com

Hi Josh.

Have you ever experienced the pleasure of viewing a silent film with a live orchestral accompaniment? It's incredible. Last year, the University of Chicago Film Department teamed up with the student orchestra to present "Battleship Potemkin" with it's original score.

The sold-out screening was jammed to the rafters with film nerds (Chicago has tons) and the excited atmosphere in the theater reminded me of the "La Dolce Vita" sequence in which crowds awaited the apparition of the Madonna. When the very first image appeared on the screen, the musicians tore into the score with gusto and it was as though every single audience member was thrown into a state of shock. It sounds corny, but I remember experiencing moments in which I realized I had stopped breathing. During the famous sequence in which troops ruthlessly slaughter citizens, I had to grab my leg and squeeze it tight because the people sitting on either side of me were too busy squeezing the armrests.

When the lights finally came up, we all sat there in silence for a few moments . stunned. There was something so moving and powerful about being in the same room with the source of the music. If Detroit ever does something similar with a silent film, I highly recommend the experience.

Dear Danielle:

I love silent movies, and I watch them all the time. I've seen them under most circumstances: with an orchestra, with small ensemble, many times with the big theater organ, and I've even seen them completely silent, and if the movie is good enough, that works, too. I watched Thomas Ince's 1916 film "Civilization" yesterday, which was pretty interesting. I got a VHS of it that was undoubtedly from a print made in the early 1930s, with a poorly synchronized soundtrack of classical cuts and occasional sound effects. But I love being able to see the world in 1916.

Josh

Name: Beth
E-mail: oddlief@gmail.com

Dear Josh,

I was wondering, the masks they wear in "Alien Apocalypse" seem strikingly similar to the ones worn in "Running Time", is this just a coincidence?

Thanks,
Beth

Dear Beth:

Yes, although I noticed the similarity, too. I took the leather muzzle idea from "Planet of the Apes," which always struck me as odd, anyway, because why would the apes even have muzzles if humans can't talk?

Josh

Name: Duffy
E-mail: g_duffy@bellsouth.net

Josh- just watched two films back to back and had to write in because of the mind blowing concept that occured to me. First up was a film I had never hear of directed by Renny Harlin of all people called Mind Hunters. It was picked out by my sci-fi loving spouse and I was prepared to hate it but bear it. With only two "big" name actors Christian Slater and Val Kilmer and smaller actors LL Cool J and Angelina's ex Johnny something I was ready to be bored out of my gourd...Shock, joy, rapture (almost) it wasn't sci-fi it was an FBI type film about these profiler trainees trapped on an island for a training exercise. One by one they suffer hideous fates while we try to figure out who the killer is. It left me guessing back and forth nearly up until the credits for crying out loud and I loved it. Half an hour later I was still saying "I can't believe how good that was" Next up The Interpreter with Kidman and Penn. ICK, borrrring. Probably rather have a root canal than watch it again. My point? Ah yes the mind blowing concept. Make a good film with or without the "names" and your audience will enjoy it. Make crap with big names and you've spent a bunch of money and still end up with well crap. Have a great one, Duffy

Dear Duffy:

A good movie from Renny Harlin? I find that very difficult to believe. To say that a film directed by Renny Harlin, starring Christian Slater, Val Kilmer and LL Cool J hasn't got any names, who are you kidding?

Josh

Name: John Rambo
E-mail: johnnylovelucy@yahoo.com

Dear Josh,

Thanks for sharing that, I understand your views and regarding superstition. But, as for if anyone knows more about what happens when people pass, well I don't mean to brag, but I do.

See, actually, our life is like a long dream that is played out on earth. When you think of it, all we each know is all we have seen and experienced, and the parts of the world that we've been in. It's kind of like an illusion in a sense. It's kind of like the Truman Show, and the whole planet, our earth, is it.

When people pass, it's like waking from that dream. A long one. It's different for each of us as we are all different people with souls. Our lives are all different. Do you know what is the same though? It's the earth we share. The animals and plants that we share it with.

When you and I go outside, we see the same thing. All people do. We exist individually.

About religion. Well they all were started somehow in history. But, only three of them have to do with God. And the last, Islam, was tainted a lot by Satan.

God exists apart from religions. Before they came about in human history. The point of them is to bring us closer to God. They are not just invented stories or tales though many men have ceased to believe in miracles today, in fact they really did occur. When I was younger, I was agnostic, but now I'm a Christian.

Even if you aren't, God still exists. Trust me. :) He loves you. We will all find out one day as all our lives are different. He knows how it will end in the end, human history I mean. He is Totally Awesome! :)

Religions have passed down stories and tales, and for all their symbolism, ritual, and tradition, well there is some true knowledge of these things in Christianity and Judaism. Moses was allowed to look upon the face of God. :) I greatly admire Jesus' teachings and strive to follow them, though for me sometimes I have to sin a bit as a hero lol. Please forgive me God. :)

Zoroastrianism is certainly interesting too and I really liked how it was in Xena and Hercules, and their concept of Ahriman is the Satan. They are the same, and existed before the dawn of time, as God did. He rebelled and became a "fallen angel" as the story goes. It really did happen.

Some things are a bit different than the picture in religion, but now I have known these things to be true. Anytime you wish, God is always there for you. I know this. For it is said, "He who does not have any friends, the Lord will be his friend."

Well, my ideas on this. I am curious, if ever you were religious and became non-religious, or if you were pretty much believing the same thing when younger.

Thanks a lot for the discussion, :)

Johnny Rambo

Dear John:

Stick to "Rambo" movies. I absolutely despise the I-know-something-you-don't-know attitude of religious people, which is strictly a facade to hide the fact that they are utterly ignorant of other religions, and can make overarching, ridiculous statements like, "But, only three of them [religions] have to do with God." All religions have to do with God. You're trying to intimate that a billion Hindus aren't praying to their version of God? That the Jains, the Baha'is, the Sikhs, the Taoists, the Confucianists, etc. aren't as sincere in their belief of their God as the Judeo-Christian religions? Horseshit! Accepting a single religion is a cop-out in trying to understand the world. The bottom-line remains that all religions are simply mythology, and anyone who takes mythology literally doesn't understand anything.

Josh

Name: Chris
E-mail: shenaniganz@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Sorry I also forgot to add that in my post before last I asked the amount of time in which you came up with the idea for "The Horribleness" after you finished AA as in like after the movie was fully finished, not the script.

Anyway, what's your favourite Biopic? I havn't seen very many but so far I have ejoyed "Man on the moon" which is about the life of Andy Kaufman (incase just somehow you didn't know) and I though "Ray" was pretty good, what are your thoughts on those?

Dear Chris:

Let's see . . . I finished shooting AA in June of '04, and I believe that I began working on "The Horribleness" in October (and my buddy Paul came in on it in November). So, about four months after the shoot, although the film was not fully finished for several months after that.

I thought "Man on the Moon" was really, really dull, with no insight into Andy Kaufman's character at all. A truly second-rate biopic. I didn't think "Ray" was much better, either. In two and half hours we find out Ray had a drug problem and fooled around on his wife. Uh-huh. That's it? They didn't bother to add at the end that once he kicked heroin he never wrote another hit song. For some people, drugs work wonders.

"Patton" was a terrific biopic. "Pride of the Yankees" was pretty good, with Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig. "Pride of the Marines," with John Garfield as WWII Marine hero, Al Schmid, was good. Jimmy Stewart was good as Glenn Miller in "The Glenn Miller Story." Robert DeNiro was great as Jake LaMotta in "Raging Bull." "Lawrence of Arabia" was a pretty darn good biopic.

Josh

Name: Jeff
E-mail:

Josh,

I just read Head Shot and really enjoyed it. It had a "All the President's men" vibe. The only thing I wasn't totally sold on was the faceless narration, especially at the beginning. Maybe if you had a Cronkite soundlike...

One thing though - Who do you think killed Giancana? Other members of the mob? the CIA? Sal? That part wasn't real clear to me.

Otherwise, it was very cool. Seems like alot simpler version too. The idea of the mob, CIA, LBJ, Nixon and who knows who else all getting together to take Kennedy out seems a little too out there.

jeff

Dear Jeff:

I don't know who took out Sam Giancana, but somebody did. And he was assassinated in his own basement. But I don't think it matters who did it. But in regard to JFK's killing, there must be a motive and Sam Giancana really had one. To say, as Oliver Stone did, that Kennedy's vice-president, LBJ, was behind it so that he could escalate the Vietnam war, seems utterly absurd to me, and a real insult to Johnson, who was a pretty good president, even if he never had a handle on the war. But LBJ, more than any other politician, was responsible for both of the civil rights bills being passed, the first one under Ike before JFK was president. LBJ had been the senate majority leader for about eight years, was a very important Democrat, and I don't believe for one second that he would have been involved with the murder of one of his own. And if the CIA couldn't manage to assassinate Castro, which they'd tried a half a dozen times, I don't think they'd even contemplate killing their own commander-in-chief.

Josh

Name: Question
E-mail: ernstyanning@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

TAKEN FROM IMDB:
Harvey Weinstein engaged in budget manipulation while running Miramax that enabled him to "create the illusion of profits" at the company, while in reality it was losing millions, according to Edward Jay Epstein, writing in the online Slate magazine. According to Epstein, Disney had agreed to pay Harvey and brother Bob a performance bonus of 30-35 percent of their film profits, calculated each fiscal year and also to tie Miramax's budget to annual performance. However, to ensure a profitable year, Epstein claims, Harvey Weinstein shifted to future years films that he believed would lose money, many of which were released just this year -- the year of the Weinsteins departure -- with losses expected to exceed $120 million. "And to add insult to injury," Epstein writes, "the Weinsteins' exit package, reported to be between $130 and $140 million, was partially based on what turned out to be Miramax's phantom profits in prior fiscal years."

Any comments?

Also, why would Arnold want to star in some big budget sequels while he's the Governor of California? Isn't that already supposed to be a full time job? What about the people who elected him?

Dear Q:

I don't give a shit what the Weinstein bros. do. Although, admittedly, they have made some of the better films over the past ten years, what few there have been. As to movie producers manipulating the books, what's the surprise there? And since Arnold's doing so shitty of a job a governor, maybe he'd being doing CA favor taking some time off. George Bush seems to take three weeks out of every month off.

Josh

Name: Derrick Rose
E-mail: drose@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

I can easily understand if you would rather not comment on this, but thought you would be interested in reading Danny Elfman's recent comments about Sam Raimi turning into a different person -- he compared Sam's personality change to "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Anyway, here's the link:

http://www.chud.com/index.php?type=news&id=4718

Dear Derrick:

That was very interesting, mainly because you rarely hear anyone in the film business actually speak their minds and say they don't like somebody.

Josh

Name: Jeremy Milks
E-mail: admin@homecomingcreations.com

Dear Josh:

Wow, a lot to post here. I like some of Charles Band's films. Mostly the ones that he's produced though, not directed. Some of his H.P. Lovecraft adaptations are decent, though again, he didn't write them and he didn't direct them. I think they were all done by Stuart Gordon ... but I might be wrong.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a good flick. I rank it above most others, but I'm not saying it's the greatest film ever made. My favorite film is the new Star Wars film, but my tastes differ from yours obviously.

Clockwork Orange ... awesome film. I was saddened at work yesterday when most of the people around me (most older than me) either hadn't seen the film and some hadn't even heard of it until that day. I felt old, the privledged, then old again. I wanted so badly just shout something out about the old ultra-violence but I didn't, because I'm a pussy.

I believe in planned out shouts, but what if you're planned out shots are handheld? I mean, what if you plan to do one scene all handheld? That's kind of a weird thing to think about. I prefer planned shots and I don't particularly like shooting handheld, but due to circumstances and time restraints I've unfortunatly had to do a little handheld filming. But I tried to be as steady as possible.

Christian Bale! The first thing I saw him in was "American Psycho" which I hated. I couldn't follow the plot at all. Then I saw him in "Velvet Goldmine" which wasn't good really. Then I saw him in "Reign of Fire" oh boy was that bad. Then I saw him in "Equilibrium" which I thought was kick ass. Then I saw him in "Metroland" which I thought was a really good film. I think you should see "Metroland" because it's more character driven. Right up you alley.

Also, a film you should never ever see. "The Undertaker and his Pals" I bought that for a dollar and was all like "This is gonna suck but it's only a dollar." It's worse than I ever imagined it could be. It was a giant waste of an hour (yes, it's only an hour long).

Jeremy

Dear Jeremy:

Hand-held camera can certainly be used in a very specific manner, as I did in Act II of RT. The camera is exactly where I mean it to be at every moment, even though it's hand-held. But that's not how 99.9% of filmmakers use it. They go in and shoot their scenes like a documentary, meaning the cameraman chooses what they'll focus on at any given moment, then they try to piece it all together in the editing room. For documentaries, that's fine; for feature films, it sucks. Meanwhile, the Stuart Gordon films may be the best stuff Charlie Band has done, but they're still crap. And "Temple of Doom" is a truly god-awful movie, with that horrid woman, Kate Capshaw. As Maltin so aptly put it, the film is "Headache-inducing." That you could even sit through that last "Star Wars" film is impressive.

Josh

Name: Chris
E-mail: shenaniganz@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Are you happy with the cover art on all of your films? I hear directors on audio commentaries or in interviews talking about how unhappy they are with the box art of their films soometimes. What's your favourite box cover of one of your movies so far?

BTW I really enjoyed "Hammer". I loved how there was so much smoking in the movie...it was a nice touch. Everything about was good, the acting, the setting, the dialouge etc. Are you close to paying it off?

Also how many copies of "Hammer" did you have to begin with?

Thanks.

Dear Chris:

300. I'm down to about 15. If they kept selling at this rate I'd break even in about 10,000 years. But I'm glad you enjoyed it. I don't like the cover art for "Lunatics." The cover art for TSNKE is fine. And I took the photos for RT and "Hammer," so I guess I like those.

Josh

Name: John Hunt
E-mail: Chowkidar@aol.com

Josh,

I meant to mention to you that I watched part of Christopher Lawford's (Peter's son) interview on Larry King the other day. He basically gave the same theory for JFK's assasination that "Head Shot" proposes. Apparently, he, Christopher, has just written a biography and deals with the question at some length in his book. I thought you might be interested.

God, but he looks like his father.

John

Dear John:

It's the only theory, in my opinion, that makes sense. Purporting that LBJ, or the CIA, were behind JFK's assassination makes no sense to me.

Josh

Name: Tom
E-mail: bellyoptopus@yahoo.com

Hi Josh,

I'm confused by your response to my post! Were you just throwing in lesson about pre-composing shots or had something I said irritate you! I'm just trying to figure it out. The only thing I can think of is that you thought I was implying that the reason you enjoyed "Frenzy" so much at age 14 was for the nudity/sex in the film an not for the quality of the film. If this is what you got out my post I sincerely apologize. I'm not concerned with nudity or sex in movies but simulated rape can be disturbing, so my question was meant to encompass that idea rather than teenage boys gawking at tits!

My favorite shot was of the 3rd murder set up, where Mr. Rusk takes the clueless barmaid Barbara (?) to his room, when she needs a place to stay after quitting her job. It's that long shot after they enter the room and the camera backs down the stairwell in silence out into the swelling hustle and bustle noises of the street where all is oblivious to the real horribleness going on in their city.

Cheers Josh, and stay cool!

Tom

Dear Tom:

I was just trying to convey that I was a particularly mature 14-year-old, who would not possibly be distrubed by a rape scene in a movie. Hell, I'd already seen "A Clockwork Orange" several times, two years before that. And I guess I was just using the Hitchcock topic to reiterate my position on the pre-planning of one's shots.

Josh

Name: Beth
E-mail: oddlief@gmail.com

Dear Josh,

On average, how many questions do you not answer?

Beth

Dear Beth:

Probably about 15-20% are too silly or too incoherent to deal with.

Josh

Name: Jeff
E-mail:

Josh,

Here's a quick question - Have you finished paying off "Hammer" yet?

Jeff

Dear Jeff:

Nope, not yet.

Josh

Name: DS
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

That's interesting that the feeling of lost potential in a big budget film bothers you more than sitting through a horrendous low budget piece of crap destined. I don't like "Temple of Doom," and would never watch it again, but I'll take it over "Dungeonmaster," "Troll," "Eliminators," "Puppet Master," "Subspecies 4," "Terrorvision," etc. just because it at least is a lot nicer to look at, and at least it's trying to have a fun, even if it's not good. But I understand that the feeling of lost potential bothers you more than anything else because of what you feel you could do with the amount of money. Though personally, with the amount of money that it took to film "Temple of Doom" wasted, there are some truly awful-looking films being released today, like "Stealth," that cost even more than "Doom" and look a whole lot worse.

And I've seen 15 films in a theater this year, and none of them were 'very good', though a few were rather good. One of the worst was "Batman Begins," which I don't understand why people here are raving about. It's a deathly serious super hero movie, like Batman meets James Bond, which made it the most tiresome superhero crap I've ever sat through (and I don't like them either, though at least some can have fun).

With that said, you should check out a French film called "A Very Long Engagement." I thought it was the most gorgeous new film I've seen in over a decade, but I know your taste, and the structure is multi-fractured which may bother you. With that said, the cinematography (by Bruno Delbonnel) is the most beathtakingly painterly I've seen since Vittorio Storaro's "The Last Emperor." I'm recommending it to you because whether you like the film or not, you'll probably see things there that you haven't seen on film before. I actually think you'll bail, so I don't know why I'm typing this, but check it out anyway, some beautiful cinematic images eagerly await.

Dear DS:

Pretty cinematography will get me through about 15 minutes of a film. I just saw an absolutely gorgeous film, "Blood on the Moon," with Robert Mitchum, and photographed by the great DP, Nicholas Musuraca. It's in breathtaking black and white, and I couldn't tell when it switched from actual exteriors to faked studio exteriors, and that's the first time ever. It's also a pretty good western, too. It was directed by the late great Robert Wise. Meanwhile, if a movie is supposed to be a piece of crap and it is, what's the disappointment? But when you see something that's supposedly made by our best filmmakers, with all the money in the world (and I never think about what I could do with the money, that's not the issue), then you really get to see into their souls, which in the case of Spielberg and Lucas, are hollow and empty, with nothing but garbage blowing around.

Josh

Name: John Rambo
E-mail: johnnylovelucy@yahoo.com

Dear Josh,

I understand, the secrecy thing, I've heard it's a tough business even for people with a lot of talent. Well I'm really greatly looking forward to it, sounds extremely awesome.

Also I really wanted to share that I was extremely relieved that the Heavenly Perfect Goddess Lucy :) made it out of New Orleans safely, I really prayed a lot for her when I heard of the storm. I felt really bad that I wasn't there to help, they were shutting down the transports I think.

The thing about superheroes, well I know they are fantasies, I've always loved them. I think it was just last year we were kind of discussing this here. You know, they might say for a man to fly it would break the laws of physics, but that's only as far as we understand. You have to believe sometimes you know. ;) There's an interesting passage in Sly Moves.

I don't want to make this excessively long, your JFK theory is great, James thinks the Mafia was involved as well. Except it was just about everybody else too. LBJ, CIA, Bay of Pigs people, secret government. Why, well Kennedy once said, "I'd like to inform the public about the alien situation, but my hands are tied." I think he supported a plan to inform the American public about it in the 1970s. God Bless President Kennedy. :)

I also wanted to note, I understand your ideas and feelings on religion, but just as inherently I don't think they are bad (at least not all of them), but that they have been misused a lot by people of course. I was curious of your ideas on this.

Thanks,

Johnny Rambo

Dear John:

Religion = superstition. All religions have exactly as much real meaning as not walking under ladders, or not stepping on cracks in the sidewalk to avoid breaking your mother's back. If any religion is right, then all the rest are wrong. And therefore I think they're all wrong. Religion is there to allow lazy people to avoid having to deal with difficult questions, and to lie to people that there is more than just this life. Well, there isn't. This is it, and it's your job to make the most of it. The second you begin believing in childish horseshit like heaven, you're copping-out on the main issue, which is your life, your only life. Heaven is a trick on the slaves to keep them working 16 hours a day, everyday, with a carrot hanging out in front of them. All religions are bad because they're all based on lies, and if you have "faith" then you accept the lies, but they're still lies. There isn't one single solitary human being, of the 6.3 billion presently alive, who knows one iota more about what happens after we die than anyone else -- not a priest, a rabbi, a mullah, no one. They're all full of shit.

Josh

Name: Question
E-mail: ernstyanning@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Well, I at least read the first chapter of TRUMAN. Mormons were driven from their homes because of a meteor shower. A Mormon Bishop tarred and feathered because everyone feels the mass population of Latter Day Saints will overpower the election. 150 Men and boys killed at the massacre of Lawrence, Kansas (anyone who could hold a gun). A few days later, some nut kills a whole family who had nothing to do with the massacre in the name of God. Jim Crow Chiles gets shot in the face and his body dragged into the barroom where he first killed someone, the man who did it wins the election (THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE anyone?), Harry winds up being the second child and the S in his middle name stands for absolutely nothing, and his grandmother drops him out the upstairs window into his uncle's arms.

Yeah, I should probably read that over again. Did anyone ever make a movie about Jim Crow Chiles?

Dear Q:

Not that I know of. But Harry Truman was a very interesting guy, and I thought David McCullough's book was great (so was his book on young Teddy Roosevelt, "Mornings on Horseback," and so was his most recent book, "John Adams"). Truman's whole rise to power, through the Pendergast political machine, was fascinating, as was his military career as an artillery captain during WWI. I love the fact that Capt. Harry Truman, Lt. George S. Patton, and Corporal Adolf Hitler were all at the Battle of the Somme (note: the U.S. artillery fired more shells in the first hour at the Battle of the Somme than were fired in the entire Civil War). That stuff really interests me, much more so than monsters or clever plot twists.

Josh

Name: Jim Fisher
E-mail: j.fisher@bassstudio.com

Dear Josh:

Agreed with some of your comments re: the gladiator movies (Peter Ustinoff was great, etc.), but remember, Sparticus had Tony Curtis doing his part to bring Brooklyn to Ancient Rome, Sparticus acting the part of a smitten schoolboy when confronted by Jean Whats-Her-Name, and a load of other extremely silly moments ("I love you, Sparticus", "No, I'm Sparticus!"). Maximus' revenge (and pain) is palpable, he's pulled his dead and burnt wife and son down and buried them, and the murder of the man who treated and loved him as his son. I don't think his missed moment as the transitional leader of Rome had anything to do with his obsession. As for Ben-Hur, I grew up with C.B. DeMille* and his heavy-hand in direction and preaching (and voice-overs), and much of his movies re-watching them today (I own MANY of them) are tedious, especially with the Chuck Heston in the leads. He's done some good things, but I kind of think of him being like Bela Lugosi or George Reeves, their final requests being that they be laid to rest in their capes (and Heston with a gun also). Anyway, get some rest and try Ridley Scott's film again, much better than Ben-Hur (so sorry film fanatics) and as good as Sparticus. (*I have left my youth behind me with my child-like (and childish) affection of DeMille (along with Lawrence Olivier).

Dear Jim:

A. Cecil B. DeMille did not make "Ben-Hur," it was William Wyler; B. DeMille didn't make "Spartacus," either, it was Stanley Kubrick; C. "Gladiator" is warmed-up left-over shit, and Ridley Scott's direction was so awful that if I NEVER see that movie again it will be too soon. All of that extremely tight, blurry, hand-held garbage camerawork, with way too much cutting, is simply offensive to me. And Joaquin Phoenix squishing Richard Harris to death must stand as one of the truly stupid moments in film history. Although I really liked Scott's first two movies, "The Duellists" and "Alien," he has progressively gotten worse and worse to the point where he is truly a bad director now, although not as bad as his brother, Tony. As for DeMille's films, they've always been stuffy and silly. He was a terrific filmmaker in 1913, but never progressed much beyond that. Still, he did have a sense of the spectacular, something that is sadly missing from contempoaray movies.

Josh

Name: Kat
E-mail: me_a_carrot@yahoo.com

Hi Josh.

Just thought I would join in with storyboard conversation with you and Beth.

(Beth's post)

"it may be silly to say put Sam's storyboard for "Evil Dead", because it's its all stick figures that only make sense to Sam, but it can be extremely fascinating to have the director's vision there in mind when watching the final product. But that's just me."

Hehe! As long as Sam knew what he was on about that's fine. If he didn't we'd all be lost.

I do agree with that. I like to see what the director had in mind when they first started out. When you have so many ideas rushing around your head, it can be hard to convey exactly what you want to do to others. I know that I found it hard when I was at Art College. You had to show your development drawings and all that when designing a piece. It annoyed the hell out of me. Could I do it? Could I crap! I knew what I wanted to do, it was all in my head and what I hadn't sorted out yet, I would sort out when I got there. But after handing in so many late projects due to bad organisational skills. I now know the importance of getting it all down on paper. If only I had known then what I know now and hadn't been such a silly cow. Thank god learnt that before I left.

Plus it's good to see how it's progressed during the filming. What went right, what went wrong and why. Tis all learning.

Josh, did you find it hard, at first, to explain your ideas to others. Especially on a difficult shoot? Basically are you an organised director or do you just wing it?

And are you a good drawer? Unlike Sam with his stickmen.

Take Care

Luv Kat

The other Brit

click to enlarge

Dear Kat:

Here's a page of my "Lunatics" storyboards (click it for the full size version). I am a very, very organized director who knows exactly what he intends to shoot, and how, every day. The performances develop as you go along, and there can be surprises in that, but not in how I shoot things. If I intend to get 24 shots that day, that's what I get, and they've all been figured out and decided upon in advance. I've never found it difficult to explain my ideas to others. That's my job.

Josh

Name: Saul Trabal
E-mail: ghost_kingdom@yahoo.com

Hi Josh,

What's your favorite Harlan Ellison story? Least favorite Ellison story?
Why?

And I know I'm going to risk your wrath by asking this question again-which is why I waited a good amount of time (at least a few months, I hope!) before I brought this subject up once more-but have you gotten around to getting SPIDER KISS? Sorry if I keep bringing this up, but this story is so fucking brilliant that I'm really interested in what you think of it, especially since you're very blunt about your opinions on different works of art.

I think it's Ellison's best story-and believe me, I don't say that easily. The man's written too many gems-but this novella just about boweled me over. And I know what a big fan of his work you are.

I hope I'm not being a pain in the butt about this, because I honestly don't mean to be. And if I am being a nuisance, my apologies.

Dear Saul:

No, I haven't read it yet. I'm not really in a fiction or sci-fi place, and I read exclusively non-fiction these days. I haven't read any Ellison in years. As for best/worst lists, I'd have to go back over everything to refresh my memory, which I don't really feel like doing. The last thing I read of his, about ten years ago, was "Mephisto in Onyx," a novella that had a very limited publication, and it gaves me the creeps, just like he meant it to.

Josh

Name: James Vance
E-mail: jv@americanstudios.net

Dear Josh:

Is your book going to tell me how to make Matrix movie? That would be rad, though it had better be easy to make a movie or I will get bored and watch TV instead and you can carry that on your conscience. American Idol is good creative inspiration if you drink a Red Bull, tho. I once thought of a movie with a girl who kept a machine gun in her purse and killed a hundred ninjas before realizing she was Milla Jovovich's best friend

Dear James:

There's very little in the world as sad as someone trying to be funny who just isn't.

Josh

Name: Tom
E-mail: bellyoptopus@yahoo.com

Hi Josh,

I watched Hitchcock's "Frenzy" last night and dug it very much. I hadn't seen it before so I borrowed it from a friend who had a Hitchcock collection on VHS - I didn't get to see it in widescreen, which is always frustrating. I didn't care for the performances overall but the story, pacing and plot twists were very exciting. I must admit I haven't seen any Hitchcock's late 60's early-mid 70's stuff, but know the 40's and 50's films really well. My friend's copy had a trivia booklet in where it stated that the potato truck sequence has 118 different shots in it, which is incredible because it plays out so well. What did you think of the nudity and deviant sexual violence in the film? I had read on an earlier post that you had seen it in the theater at age 14 with your parents. I would have found that pretty heavy at age 14. The first film I saw nudity in a movie was "Hooper", of course that didn't mean much to me other than, hey, I just saw a naked girl! I was probably 12 or 13 at the time.

Tom

Dear Tom:

I'd already seen a lot of movies by the time I was fourteen, and I'd already gotten laid, so sex wasn't very mysterious to me at that point. But I was (and still am) very impressed with the filmmaking. How scenes are shot really matters to me, which is why everytime I see a film that's entirely hand-held I want to scream. I know that I keep bringing this up, but I think it's the visual equivilant of bad writing regarding what's wrong with movies these days. If you make that one big cop-out decision at the beginning, of no, I won't think about each individual shot, and how it juxtaposes with the shot before it and after it, I'm hand-holding the whole film and I'm going to let the editor figure it all out, like a documentary, you have in essence proclaimed, "My movie is going to be a piece of shit and I don't care."

Josh

Name: Jeff
E-mail:

Josh,

I figured your response to the commentary idea would be something like that. It is an interesting idea to me though, especially since it seems that so little intelligent discussion on films takes place any more, and hearing from someone who has as big a movie knowledge base as you would be cool.

Ok, that sounds more kiss-assy then I meant, but I think you get what I mean.

Anyway, I find it kind of interesting the way that movies and music have been combined since the beginning. Do you think the movie "soundtrack" was just a holdover from the silents? Now it's hard to imagine a movie without music. I know "Running Time" had a long stretch with no music, do you know any movies that, successfully, did not include music?

Dear Jeff:

Yes, there's been any number of films without music, although non of the titles are coming to mind. I feel like I just watched one, too. That was a big fight between Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann on their last film together, "Torn Curtain." Herrmann scored the killing of the Russian agent by Paul Newman and the German woman, then Hitchcock dropped the music. I've seen it both ways and it's better with Herrmann's music. But having no music can be very dramatic as well. It's all how you use it.

Josh

Name: Jeremy Milks
E-mail: admin@homecomingcreations.com

Dear Josh:

I'm just saying there should be a balance in the adult to child ratio. One that I think is different per person. Fuck it, I'm not arguing the point anymore. You have your opinion, I have mine, and that's why America is great. We can both come to your message board to express ourselves. And maybe you did quote me on the whole "being an adult is boring" thing, but I think I typed it wrong or something because that was never what I meant by it.

Anyway, on to a topic that interests me more, Temple of Doom is not one of the worst 100 films. There's so much shit that I've seen. Just watch about 90% of Charles Band's work (oddly Charles Band looks a lot my father) and hopefully your 100 worst list would change. Temple of Doom is, however, the worst of the three Indiana Jones films. I like Last Crusade best (Connery is awesome) and then Raiders of the Lost Arc, and then Temple of Doom. I'm not comparing the films against other films, just the three Indy films. Hopefully 4 will be good.

Gotta question for ya. I was looking at your list of films that you've seen and I was just wondering what Cocksucker Blues was ... sounds either really horrible or semi-interesting. You tell me which it is.

Jeremy Milks

Dear Jeremy:

"Cocksucker Blues" is a documentary about the Rolling Stones. I think it's their 1971-72 tour. It was banned for many years due to the use of drugs, which you do see them doing pretty regularly, but all in all it wasn't very good. And what makes "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" one of the 100 worst films of all time, is that they had so much money and time to make it and only came up with that offensive piece of crap. I don't hold the films Charlie Band has made against him because his intentions were so low to begin with -- he intends to make low-budget shit, and that's exactly what he does. But Spielberg and Lucas meant to make a great, high-budget film, except that both of them had their heads up their asses. Just like "War of the Worlds." It's a different issue when you have all the money and time in the world, and that's the best you can do. But I honestly think all three Indiana Jones pictures are soulless drivel. Yes, Spielberg knows how to shoot a scene, but those scripts are trash. I certainly won't see the fourth one.

Josh

Name: John Rambo
E-mail: johnnylovelucy@yahoo.com

Dear Josh,

I hope everything is totally cool, I was wondering on your comedy routine film idea for Lucy (OH GOD LUCY! :) ), Renee, Bruce, and Ted, that sounds totally groovy, unique, and entertaining, I am definitely very interested. Are they going to be couples? Oh man oh man! Please tell me all about it! :)

I keep thinking of that song that goes "Tell me more, tell me more, oh Johnny, tell me more!"

You know I was reading some of the archived posts, yeah the superhero, definitely can't happen in the real world, a pure juvenile fantasy. I wouldn't believe a man could fly. ;) After all you know, we're all humans, we are just "mammals" as we class ourselves.

Also like totally James Bond has some serious ideas on the JFK thing, if you are interested still.

Thanks,

Johnny Rambo

Dear John:

I'd really prefer not to discuss it just yet. Folks in Hollywood get freaked out if too much information is leaked too early, like we're coming up with nuclear bomb secrets or something. And since I'd like this deal to go through, I'll leave it at that. Regarding JFK, I have my theory and I'm sticking with it.

Josh

Name: CD
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

When writing scripts (I usually write horror), I do indeed try to come up with something I think is good (and scary), not what was cool (or scary) in another movie or what I think will sell.

What I want to ask you is this: how do you get around the feeling that everything's been done before?

I've written 20 scripts so far (most are horror or sci fi) and only now do I find myself feeling like everything's been done to death (especially in horror). You simply can't be original anymore, no matter what you do. Conventions are conventions. Formulas are formulas and must be adhered to, right? If that's the case and there are certain expectations within genres, how do you write without feeling like you're treading very old ground?

Just a few years back, when The Sixth Sense came out, I remember guessing the 'twist'. I was able to guess it because it's actually been done before. It just wasn't done in awhile. What shocked me is how the 'twist' caught everyone who saw it off guard including some horror 'fans' I know. I guessed the 'twist' from the trailer and when I finally saw the movie, the 'twist' was so obvious. Even in 1999, I thought things were done to death (including the Sixth Sense twist). Maybe I've just seen too many horror movies. Similar 'twists' were done in Carnival of Souls, The Other and Jacob's Ladder (in fact the original draft of Jacob's Ladder had the exact same 'twist'). I think M. Night pulled the 'twist' off well though. I can't say it wasn't clever how it was done.

Anyway, this feeling is something new to me and it's troubling. I don't know what it is, but I believe a lot of it has to do with the times. We're at a point where not only has everything been done, but it's been done to death.

This has been freezing me up lately (writer's block?)and I find myself not being productive anymore. When I first started (16 years ago), I was excited and enthusiastic about it all. Maybe that's part of it, I'm getting worn out. A hell of a lot more movies have come out since the late 80's, early 90's. Scripts I have written with ideas (and titles) that I thought were original were eventully made into movies (but not by me) and with the exact same titles I came up with! I don't know. How would you handle this 'feeling', so you can back on with it?

Dear CD:

What your really discussing are plots. Maybe it's time to get out of horror and sci-fi, which are generally very plot-oriented stories, and try to write some realistic character-driven stories. The depth and variety of characters in this world is pretty vast, and if you seriously try to catch the human spirit on paper ("Like trying to catch smoke with a butterfly net," as Sam Raimi put it), you'll have your hands full. Conventions and formulae don't have to be adhered to. I still think you need to pay attention to structure, but that goes for any kind of story. I've just written two slapstick comedies in a row. It's not like there haven't been quite a few slapstick comedies over the course of film history, but none exactly like these. Why? Because my co-writer and I were strictly trying to be funny, trying to make each other laugh, and if we did it went into the script. We weren't trying emulate any other films we'd seen, although we were certainly inspired by other films. And if you are really trying to come up with what you yourself deep down think is good, then it is good, if you're not lying to yourself. Writing, if you're doing it correctly, should be a method for examining who you really are. If you're only coming up with stories that have already been told, then you're not digging deep enough.

Josh

Name: Trey Smith
E-mail: cobra_commander_of_cobra@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

Now that I know it's fine to take actual lines from short story, adapting it has became much easier.

I just finished watching "The Godfather Part II" again today and when it was over I got the feeling I get each time I finish watching a really good older movie. Why aren't movies like this being made anymore?

Modern films try so hard to move you these days, but when it finally comes to the "teary moment" I don't shed one fucking tear.

Take "The Godfather Part II", it has many scenes that move me each time I watch the film. When Vito Corleone first arrives to America on the boat and is standing with the other refugee's, another ship moves slowly by he camera and reveals the Statue of Liberty. Or when Michael realizes it was Fredo who betrayed him and later on when he kisses Fredo and tells him he knows it was him who betrayed the family. Also, when Vito is stalking Don Fanucci as the festival is taking place the streets, when Don Vito kills Ciccio, Michael telling Fredo he never wants to see him again, the reaction Michael has when Kay tells him she had an abortion(Pacino's facial changes in this scene are great), and when Micheal hugs Fredo at their mother's funeral, while looking at Al the entire time. I could go on.

I want to make movies that are good, I don't know if I'll succeed, but I will try my best. However, I also wish someone else would begin to make good movies again. Because I love watching good movies and I want another great director to emerge and create a movie filled with great scenes that move me. A story and characters I care about.

However, as I am sure you already know. That seems to be too much to ask for these days.

Dear Trey:

Apparently. But "Godfather I & II" are just one great moment attached to another great moment for six-plus hours. It's incredible. And it's shot exactly opposite of how most movies are shot now, which is hand-held and jerky and ugly. The camerawork in "The Godfather" is steady, solid, beautifully-lit, and each angle really matters. And every performance is great. That's how you direct a movie.

Josh

Name: Jeff
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

Saw Alien Apocalypse and it was goofy fun. It's funny how some of it looks tremendously low budget (the beards, wigs and dubbing) and some looks like it was budgeted for a lot more(some great locations, those mountains, that bug house, and the aliens.)

I really enjoy the commentaries that you and Bruce Campbell do together. They are always entertaining and much more interesting then most other commentaries, which are typically dry and boring.

Finally, as someone who is looking forward to reading your book, I thought I'd throw out an idea. Given the fact that "River Kwai" is such a big example in your book(at least the online version) it might be cool if, in honor of the book release, you recorded your own commentary of "Bridge" and put it on the site as a MP3 that people could download and listen to while watching the movie. It could be like the Josh Becker Film University, another way to spread the gospel of what makes a good movie.

Well, it was just a thought.

Dear Jeff:

I'd really hate to talk during that movie. The "Kwai" section is still in the book. But yakking with Bruce throughout a film we made together is very easy.

Josh

Name: Richard
E-mail: filmfan_1@hotmail.com

"I didn't see and I could care less. I just tried watching another film starring Christian Bale, and you know what? He stinks."

Josh,

What film?

Regardless,I don't think you should be able to say that someone "stinks" after just one (or even a couple) films. For the record, you're about as far off the mark on this one as you can get. Bale is one of the finest actors of his generation, with uncommonly good taste in projects and performance. Just because he's the new "Batman" is no reason to start hating and to discount the work he's done. Whether you like the films or not, his performances in Empire of the Sun, The Machinist(not just a weight loss stunt, Josh), Little Women, Henry V, American Psycho, Harsh Times (upcoming), Laurel Canyon, etc. are too good to ignore.

Saying that Bruce Campbell (who IS a fine actor, btw) is just getting "better and better", while casting off another actor out of hand, just reeks of cynicism.

Don't dismiss people just because they're popular. There IS talent there.

Richard

Dear Richard:

Okay, all right. Maybe he doesn't stink, maybe I just don't like him. I think he's creepy. I didn't care for "Empire of the Sun," "Little Women" or "American Psycho," and the film I was referring to was "All the Little Animals," where he was doing an Irish or Scottish accent and was having a hard time.

Josh

Name: Jonathan Moody
E-mail: jondoe_555@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

I just found out that John Williams scored "How to steal a million". It really amazes me that the guy responsible for the music in the George Lucas and Steven Spielberg flicks also did a movie for William Wyler. Now I definitely want to see that movie just to hear what the music was like. Well a while ago I got an Alfred Hitchcock box set I never started. The only movie of the box I had seen was "Psycho"... but the rest were: "Family Plot" "Rear Window" "The man who knew too much (the remake)" > "Rope" "Topaz" and "Shadow of a doubt" are you a fan of all those? I'm gonna watch "Rope" tonight and then try to watch the rest when I get back from the eye doctor tomorrow. Should be good times.

Your fan,
Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

I like "Psycho" and "Rear Window." I have fond memories of the remake of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" from when I saw it as a kid, but it didn't hold up very well. Many people, including Hitchcock, think that "Shadow of a Doubt" is his best movie, but I heartily disagree. It's so obvious, and going exactly where you think it's going, that I've always found it a bore, even though I'm a Theresa Wright fan. "Family Plot," and "Topaz" both suck. "Rope" is interesting, but not a great film. The most interesting thing to watch, beside that it's not cutting very often, is the miniature of the city out the window, and how it becomes night and the clouds roll in. Sadly, "How to Steal a Million" isn't very good, and it's not funny. Meanwhile, John Williams has been around a long time. He won an Oscar for "Fiddler on the Roof" before he ever did any of those Lucas and Spielberg films, which sadly turned him into a well-paid hack. I particularly like hs scores for: "The Fury," "The Long Goodbye" and "The Cowboys."

Josh

Name: Jeremy Milks
E-mail: admin@homecomingcreations.com

Dear Josh:

I didn't say that being an adult makes you boring. If that were the case I wouldn't bother talking to you. You're one of the most adult people I know. I'm just saying that it's not good to be 100% adult. Maybe 85-90% adult and the rest child. That's all I'm saying.

No, even when I grow up I don't think I'll read "Truman" Things like that have never very interesting reads for me. I'm not saying it's not interesting, but I'd rather have it condensed into a two or three or even four hour movie. I like fiction better than reality anyway. Reality normally blows, but bio-pics can be good. Like, I liked Schindler's List. It's my favorite Speilberg film after the Indiana Jones movies (... I think this is more proving your point, but what the hell).

Dammit, back to my point, I don't think being an adult is boring. There are plenty of great things about being an adult. You can vote, you can drive, you own a house and car, you can have a great job and get married and have kids and have more meaningful relationships, but I don't think it's good to just say "What's today? My 18th birthday. [Looks at every childish possesion and taste he has]. Fuck me, I gotta get rid of all this, I'm an adult!"

Jeremy Milks

Dear Jeremy:

I guess the real question is, how old are you? "Reality normally blows"? That's where you and all the rest of us are stuck. And yes you did say being an adult is boring, I quoted you. I must seriously say, and I really mean it, being a kid is FAR more boring than being an adult. Kids are, for the most part, dull, stupid creatures, without anything interesting to say, who know very, very little. I don't think most people even develop a sense of humor until they're about 35, if they're lucky. Kids take everything too seriously, and they have no perspective. Kids can see a piece of crap like "Schindler's List" and because they know so very little about life and history and movies, they'll believe it's a good film. And just as a little note, "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" is certainly one of the 100 worst films of all time.

Josh

Name: Champ
E-mail: adikz_18@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

Can you please help me sir? How can I deconstruct Anton Chekhov's "The Lottery Ticket" ?

Dear Champ:

Tear out the pages, then boil the binding, that'll deconstruct the motherfucker.

Josh

Name: John Swanson
E-mail: jesvideo@insightbb.com

Hi Josh:

I am the filmmaker guy who you and Bruce met a few years ago while you were in Chamapaign, Illinois for the "Freaky Film Festival. I lost contact with you when I changed addresses.

I had lunch with Jason Panakoke, You and Bruce Campbell at the Chinese Resturaunt there. I hope you still remember. If you still can't remember me I'm the guy who did a series of video documentries on the AMISH which are still selling strong on Ebay. Not many people who do that.

I wanted you to know that I did complete my film "Unearthly Harvest" and gave you a screen credit for the help you gave me. Thankyou for your help it was much appreciated. My movie web page is http://www.unearthlyharvest.com if you would like to see my film trailer.

I have been contacted by some film distributers the most recent being "Brain Damage Films" Maxim Media and I am talking with them now.
Best Wishes,
John Swanson
Princeton, Il.

Dear John:

Of course I remember you, my mind hasn't completley turned to mush yet. So, you finally finished your film, eh? Congratulations. How long did it take? I went to your website and looked around and watched the trailer. As a little note, you have an explanation about the film being like horror films of the 1970s, like those of "Bob Castle & Roger Corman of American International Pictures." I think you mean William Castle, and he was never with AIP. The producers there were James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff. Thanks for the credit and good luck with your film.

Josh

Name: Question
E-mail: ernstyanning@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

I just watched RUNNING TIME again. Surpisingly, it held up to THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE. But then again, I have a good 54" projection tv sitting on a computer desk. Either way, I would recommend this double feature to anyone.

I guess that just means its a good movie because usually when I watch a mediocre film next to good ones, its ripped apart and shown for what it is, and this one held up.

The druggie reminds me of Channing from PINK FLAMINGOES, and I like when the cops arrive and Budd is worried about his watch before he dies, oh and, Anita Barone is packing to leave and she almost grabs her prostitute wig, and the look in Bruce Campbell's eyes when Patrick talks him down to do the heist. I bet during the part where the Warden was called about ice cream, the Warden was asking him is something was wrong and the guy kept answering about his diet (kind of like CASABLANCA)

I guess SAG actors pay off. What do you think?

Dear Q:

I'm pleased that RT held up for you. SAG actors are definitely better than non-SAG actors, they have more experience or they wouldn't have been able to join SAG. I like "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" a lot, I think it's exactly the sort of film that Hollywood can't make anymore -- an entertaining action movie that's not stupid (the script, BTW, was by Peter Stone). I love when the train starts to go and they each say, "It's moving," and someone else asks, "What is?" "The train!" And what a wondeful cast: Walter Matthau, Martin Balsam, Robert Shaw, Hector Elizondo. I really miss movies like that.

Josh

Name: Tim
E-mail: nansemondnative@wmconnect.com

Hi there Josh,

I have a question based on your observation of horror films becoming too "formulaic" back with the advent of the Halloween, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street series of movies.

When you say formulaic I assume that you might mean that they became too structured or they all followed the same basic roadmap to a big time fault.

I gather from reading your responses to many questions in the past that the horror genre is not one of your favorites. Apparently, at one time, it might have been though.

Two short questions for you.

The first one is do you feel like, in your perceptions,that horror films of today are still stuck in that formulaic rut?

The second question is do you think if that formulaic approach of yesteryear was thrown out the window and a horror project was approached with the idea of "Let's make an intelligent horror film with guts" that it might be workable? When I say "guts" I do not mean foam appliances with fake blood poured on them. I mean intelligent and inventive, but gut-wrenching, scenes combined with intelligent dialogue.I know that is very vague but I am counting on your insight and depth here.

I read in Bruce's first book a quote from Irvin Shapiro that "Book" was a bad word to the horror crowd in reference to the original title of The Evil Dead.It makes me wonder if the horror crowd has really changed all that much and if the concept of a truly intelligent horror movie is just too far out on the edge.

I hope this line of questions doesn't seem ridiculous Josh but there is a flame burning and I'm really wanting to pour gas on it.

As always, I do Thank You for your time.

Tim

Dear Tim:

Yes, horror movies are more stuck in a rut than ever, just like all other genres. To throw out the formulaic approach to horror, one would have to look deep within their own souls to find out what REALLY scares them, not what seemed cool or scary from some other horror movie. This can and should be done with every kind of story, not just horror. You have to ask yourself, "What do I HONESTLY think is good?" Not, "What will sell?" which you'll never know in advance. It's the bottom-line difference between good writing and bad writing, and it applies to everything.

Josh

Name: Jeremy Milks
E-mail: admin@homecomingcreations.com

Dear Josh:

I'm not saying "don't mature" I just don't think it's a good idea to completely abandon your childhood.

I do read books with paragraphs, I'm not that dumb. Hell, I've been reading novels since elementary school when all the people I knew were reading comics. I think I read Pet Sematary in 6th grade (I'm not bragging). I've actually read more comics since I graduated (Free Comic Book Day ... I don't normally pay for comics) from high school than I ever did while I was in school. The last book I read was Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way. I'm getting off track ... gotta get back on track.

Yes, people should grow up, I'm not disagreeing with you there, I just don't think they should give all childish things. It makes them boring and no fun.

Personally, I don't consider myself grown up, so maybe I'm talking out of my ass, but I do believe some of the stuff I said is good advice, whether anybody takes it or not.

Why do we disagree on so many things? There a good chunk of things that we both agree on, yet some how, all the things we disagree on just keep popping up.

I think I've officially become a pest, and since I respect you and think rather highly of you, I don't know why I keep pestering.

First Bruce Campbell and now you. Fuck me sideways.

Jeremy Milks

Dear Jeremy:

You're not pestering me, and you make a legitimate point. I don't agree with you, but that certainly doesn't make me right and you wrong. Spielberg and Lucas have made hundreds of millions of dollars nurturing their inner childs. But that's why I think they make stupid fucking movies that are unbearable to adults. Since we spend about a quarter of our lives as children, then three-quarters as adults, being an adult is three times more important than being a kid. There are very few adults anymore who can actually think like adults, and that's why movies suck so bad. When I see something like "The Human Stain," which is not a great movie, but it's definitely written by an intelligent adult for other intelligent adults, it's a breath of fresh air to me. But this notion of yours that growing up makes you "boring and no fun" is nonsense. Discussing intelligent topics is much more fun than discussing childish drivel. And reading Stephen King books isn't reading adult fiction, it's also for kids (not that some of King's stuff isn't good). Trying growing up and reading an adult book, like "Truman" by David McCullough, and see what you get out of it.

Josh

Name: Trey Smith
E-mail: cobra_commander_of_cobra@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

Whenever you mention the bad grammar of the people who write in to you I always think, "I must be in that group."

Anyway, thanks for responding to those questions I sent in to you. When I recieved the answers I noticed I had fucked up on a few of them. For example, I meant to say "future filmmakers" instead of just "filmmakers" in the influence question. Oh well, you're response was perfect.

Now for my question. I am adapting a short story for my first film and I find myself falling in love with much of the dialogue written by the author of the story. Is this bad? I'm not taking every line and putting it into the script, but should I keep using the exact dialogue in my screenplay to a minimum?

I dont' want to sound as if I can't think up any dialogue for myself, I have plenty of my own stuff in the script. I was just wondering if I should be very careful on how often I use exact lines from the story.

Thanks!

ps- I loved the "Confession's" essay. I think an earlier poster descriped it best when he said it was very heartfelt. I can't agree more, it was a very touching confession(sorry) to how much you really do love movies.

Dear Trey:

Trust your instincts. If you think it's a good line, then leave it in. If you actually shoot the script you can always cut it out later, or cut it during rehearsal. You have to do what feels right to you. The story goes that when John Huston got his first writing-directing gig on "The Maltese Falcon," he simply handed Dashiell Hammett's book to his secretary and said, "Type it up in script form," and that was the script. Not screwing with things or changing them is an artistic decsion, too.

Josh

Name: Chris
E-mail: shenaniganz@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Did you write alot or enjoy writing as teenager, I mean has it always been a passion of yours or did it start later in life? Even though i'm not very good I still like to write but i normally stop as I realise that most likely no one else my age is probably doing this right now. I still write short films though. It's annoying how my mates have been busy a lot so i havn't finished this short I'm doing at the moment.

I finally managed to raise (and I don't mean raise as in come up with some fake charity and collect from neighbours) enough money to buy "Brain", "Lunatics", and "AA"....can't wait! I watched all of the video clips (and continue to) from AA at www.alienapocalypse.com.

One more thing, are you full of ideas for screenplays all the time or do you kinda struggle to find a good idea for a movie? I noticed you were desperate for an idea at the time when you were about to come up with the idea for Lunatics but now you seem to finish a movie and then get straight into another one...I think (I'm wondering how long the gap was between wrapping up AA and getting the idea for "the Horribleness"?)

thanks.

Dear Chris:

There was 15 years between writing AA and writing "The Horribleness." Meanwhile, I began writing regularly when I was 14, and I began my journal (which I still write daily) when I was 17. Since I rarely go back to old ideas, each time I finish a script I must then come up with a new idea, one that I like that turns me on. This is the most difficult part of the process, as far as I'm concerned, and it generally takes me a few months to get my next idea. But over the course of time I have at least stopped panicking every time I finish a script that I won't ever get another idea. I find that ideas come most easily when I'm calm and not thinking about it. Also, I think it's important to read, which keeps the process of writing going on as you see how someone else has done it. Good luck to you.

Josh

Name: Jonathan Moody
E-mail: jondoe_555@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

I ended up buying the "Friday the 13th" box set today at Best Buy. With all the 8 films put out by Paramount. I'm sure when they first were released you thought and probably still do think they were crap. But it always amused me that if it weren't for the movie Halloween some of the best (or most fun) horror films wouldn't exist. Including Friday the 13th and Evil Dead. Victor Miller has said that all Friday the 13th was just a Halloween knock off just set in a different place with a similar type plot. My question I guess is when those movies first came out in the late 70's early 80's what did you think of them? My guess is you wouldn't give them a second thought even when they came out. Though you can't deny that Nightmare on Elm Street (the first one) wasn't entertaining (or maybe you can)

Your fan,
Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

I was still a horror fan at that time and those films are what killed it. The "Friday the 13th" movies are complete garbage without a redeeming aspect to them. I didn't care for "Halloween," either. And the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies have one gag that they repeat endlessly -- is it a dream or not? Boo! That's the point when horror films became utterly formulaic, and I lost all interest.

Josh

Name: rob
E-mail: habejr@mac.com

dear josh,

i just finished reading confessions and i loved it. it's good to know that i'm not alone. i was wondering if you have ever seen the hitchcock film, the lodger. it's pretty cool, being one of his earlier films. you should check it out. i got it in a pack of 10 hitchcock mysteries for 15 bucks. just thought i'd ask.

rob

Dear rob:

Yes, I've seen "The Lodger," and it is a pretty cool film. The scene where Jack the Ripper is upstairs pacing, and the folks down below can hear it, then Hitchcock goes to a glass floor so can actually look up and see him pacing is very cool. I liked "Blackmail" quite a lot, too, which was Hitchcock's (and England's) first sound film. He does some great stuff with the sound.

Josh

Name: Reply To An Honest Answer
E-mail: ernstyanning@hotmail.com

<<Bruce did a hell of a good job as Elvis. And there are a lot of adults that won't shut the fuck up about their childhoods and young adulthoods. I'm not one of them, but I have known several over the course of time.>>

I think you're right, I am too critical and its completely pointless. I liked both those movies anyway. But still, a lot can happen in 4 years out of high school, kind of makes you wonder about those people doesn't it? Kind of makes you think they're....


CRAZY!?!?!

Dear Q:

Well, I'm pretty critical myself, so I don't hold it against you.

Josh

Name: Hollis Brown
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

Coffee ice cream? Is that a Jaws reference?

Dear Hollis:

I know what you're referring to, when Lorraine Gary asks her son in the hospital after the shark attack what kind of ice cream he wants, and he replies "Coffee," then she repeats it. But I've always liked coffee ice cream, long before I ever saw "Jaws."

Josh

Name: Vanishingpoint
E-mail: No thanks

Josh,

Just to be pedantic I went to the Bruce Campbell site and he has the following:

START QUOTE

Are there any plans to make an Evil Dead IV?

No.

The ED4 rumors are unfounded at the present time. We all want to do another sequel, but it's more about the calendar than anything - mostly Sam's. It's a "wait and see" right now.

END QUOTE

So he gives a straight "no". Then he qualifies it with "at the present time" and then really makes it open by saying "they want to but..."

I don't think a fourth film would achieve anything - I thought the second got it about right - and I don't think a fourth one will get made. But what would I know?

VP

Dear VP:

I think both Bruce and Sam's careers would have to really bomb out before they made ED4, and neither of them looks like it's going in that direction. Not to mention that we're all getting old, and very possibly too old for that sort of nonsense.

Josh

Name: Tom
E-mail: bellyoptopus@yahoo.com

Hi Josh,

Storyboards can be interesting - especially if there are scenes that were storyboarded but not shot, or to see how scenes were altered from the way they were presented in the storyboards. I thought the storyboards for "The Man with the Screaming Brain" were interesting. I'm glad you've got a sense humor about your "Alien Apocalypse" storyboards - was there any doubt! You're a funny guy anyway!

On a side note, I find it interesting how you keep busy when you're not shooting films. You obviously love to write, with all your essays, reviews, scripts & even this Q & A. I too enjoyed your new "Confessions of a Movie Geek" article, it was really heartfelt. So if you wanna get even, feel free to pick on my bad grammar and poor sentence structure! Lol

Tom

Dear Tom:

You? You're Ernest Hemingway compared to some of the folks who write in here. I try not pick on anyone's grammer, although sometimes misspellings are funny, like "shimp" for Shemp, let's say. Even though I get to direct occasionally, for the most part I'm a writer. My job as a writer is create projects that get made that I get to direct. So I just keep writing and writing, like my tail's on fire. I've written two scripts in the last year (both with Paul Harris), and if all of the stars in the heavens align, I'll direct both of them next year. Meanwhile, I'm glad you liked the essay.

Josh

Name: Question
E-mail: ernstyanning@hotmail.com

<<But no, I have no real interest in making an NC-17 film>>

Well I don't nnnecessarily mean explicit sex, I just mean films for adults. It's kind of annoying when I watch RUNNING TIME and they're still talking about high school oh well. THE DUELLISTS is a PG film and its clearly aimed at adults in tone which is what I like. I just finished watching THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST which I thought was interesting, but it kind of lacked the style of Scorsese's other films like RAGING BULL. Oh and, the film kind of drops dead when the little "angel" takes him off the cross (just like APOCALYPSE NOW with Marlon Brando). I can imagine all the pissed off Christians that walked out in the opening scenes (the same ones that stuck around for THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST).

I grew up on EVIL DEAD but I'd kinda like to see Bruce and Ted either do a full on slapstick film, or an intelligent act your age film. You all are older now, it would be nice to see those intelligent opinions make it on film. Isn't that the fun of it, the actor cracks a joke or makes a discussion and only two people in the audience really dig it. Surely Bruce can do a better performance than Elvis.

But I am looking forward to THE HORRIBLENESS.

Dear Q:

Bruce did a hell of a good job as Elvis. And there are a lot of adults that won't shut the fuck up about their childhoods and young adulthoods. I'm not one of them, but I have known several over the course of time.

Josh

Name: AJ
E-mail: ajeacct@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Bravo, but now the real question is how do you convince somebody who has lost their ability to think for themself to do so.

Dear AJ:

I'm not sure you can.

Josh

Name: Jeremy Milks
E-mail: admin@homecomingcreations.com

Dear Josh:

Wow, it's been awhile since I wrote in. Sadly, I learned how to write a screenplay from Bruce Campbell's site also. It's kinda cool and kinda sad that somebody else learned from the same place.

I was reading the posts, as usual, and I saw your post about how people should stop paying attention to superhero comics after about 15. I'd just like to say first off, that I haven't read but maybe a dozen comic books, but I do love them. They are another form of literature, only they have pretty little pictures.

I also remember you using the quote "When I was a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a man I put away childish things." or something like that, but I don't think anybody should just stop doing anything childlike. I mean, yeah, when you come of age, yes, take responsibility, be as mature as you possibly can, and be good to others, the golden rule, etc. etc. etc., but what's wrong with keeping a bit of kid in ya? It'll keep ya younger. It'll make you more fun. You might make more ladies laugh.

I can see the downside to keeping a little kid in ya. Sure, some people who aren't the brightest may never leave childhood and end up being a giant kid all the time, and that would be annoying and suck. But I mean, what's wrong with having a little bit of that kid in you if you know how to control it?

Comics were created by adults. And going with your theory, shouldn't somebody over the age of 15 also give up other childish things? Like the Three Stooges? You can't get more childish than laughing at a guy getting punched or hit in the balls.

Jeremy Milks

Dear Jeremy:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the child inside of you. I've been hearing about that horseshit non-stop since Spielberg and Lucas began making these big expensive kid-oriented movies. Enough already! Once you pass 16 and get a driver's license, then 18 and you can drink, then 21 and you can vote, you're an adult. Think about adult things. Put the goddman comics away. Try reading books that contain entire paragraphs. Try thinking deeper, more philosophical thoughts than kids. It's better being an adult than being a child, seriously.

Josh

Name: Mo
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

I rechecked the site again, and yeah, you're right ... sorta. He wrote, and I quote (and I rhymed)"Are there any plans to make an Evil Dead 4. No. The ED4 rumors are unfounded at the present time. We all want to do another sequel, but it's more about the calender than anything- mostly Sam's. It's a "wait and see" right now."

Then on the remake he says "The remake "concept" has been getting a lot of feedback lately, and not all of it good. Folks can relax in knowing that we would never knowingly screw up the series.

A remake will get made fairly soon, but there is no start date, no director and no script. Other than that, we're ready to jump into production!"


So yeah, they aren't planning one right now. Duh, Spider-man 3 (and maybe 4-6) are gonna keep Sam Raimi busy, I understand that. When I say they plan on making ED4, it's not like I mean they plan on making it tomorrow or even next year. But, according to that, they do plan on making one, but not for awhile.

That's what I took from it anyway.

Mo

Dear Mo:

Personally, I believe it would take some sort of apocalyptic disaster to get Bruce to do ED4, not to mention Sam. I think it's the last thing either of them want to do. Those were not fun movies to make.

Josh

Name: Beth
E-mail: oddlief@gmail.com

Dear Josh,

Coffee, how did I guess? Tom mentioned something about the silliness of putting storyboards in the DVD extra section. I would have to argue that though, yes it may be silly to say put Sam's storyboard for "Evil Dead", because it's its all stick figures that only make sense to Sam, but it can be extremely fascinating to have the director's vision there in mind when watching the final product. But that's just me.

Cheers,
Beth

Dear Beth:

I thought so when I suggested that they use them. Storyboards fascinate me, and I don't think enough directors use them anymore.

Josh

Name: Kat
E-mail: me_a_carrot@yahoo.com

Hiya Josh.

I would just like to say that I've always thought that your films all have a really good orginal storyline. If only the big shots wrote films that were even close to yours! Instead of all the remake crap they seem to have stuck their fat greasy hands into in to recently.

And the other thing. Will Alien Apocalypse be available on region 2 for the UK? I know, us Brits are a pain in the rump.

Cheers Josh

Take Care

Luv Kat

Dear Kat:

It's supposed to be available in the UK at some point. You might want to check with anchorbayentertainment.com. So are two of my other films, too -- "Running Time" and TSNKE, but I don't know the release dates. I'm glad you like my stories.

Josh

Name: Brandon Phillips
E-mail: mrb8694@aol.com

Dear Josh:

thank you again for your help with the selection for movie night it is greatfully apreceated. i was going through some of your essays from years back and came accross one that talked about the batman movies and how BATMAN AND ROBIN stunk majior doodoo. but my question is this. what (if you saw it at all) was your opinion of the newest one BATMAN BEGINS that claimed to "be its own movie" and complety ignor the past instalments?
thanks again for the help

Dear Brandon:

I didn't see and I could care less. I just tried watching another film starring Christian Bale, and you know what? He stinks. Let me reiterate my position so that everyone can be clear -- all superheroes are stupid, it's a knuckleheaded genre, and if they never made another superhero movie it would be just fine for me. I see why they appeal to 10-year-olds, but I think liking superheroes is a sign of immaturity and shows a basic lack of intelligence for anyone over about 15.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail: sspnyc66@mac.com

Josh,

If you are in a documentary mood I suggest you try and check out a certain documentary.

It is called "Fearless Freaks" and it is a documentary on one of my favorite bands "The Flaming Lips". They have been around since the 80's, but it wasn't until about 1994 when they really started to become successful and they keep getting better with age which is the reverse of most rock bands.

You may not like their music, but I think it is some of the most creative rock music to come out in the last 15 years.

As far as documentaries go, this one is excellent and you don't even have to know anything about the band.

The guy who made it was friends with the band pretty much since their beginnings and he just started shooting footage of them playing live, party & home functions etc.. as far back as when they were teenagers in the 70's.

I think he put together a very intimate portrait of a band that grew up in the same neighborhood in Oklahoma City, and that neighborhood is still where the director and two of the core members including the lead singer & creative genius of the band still live.

I conected to the down to earth lives they lead afer becomming very successful within the past 6 years, and the fact that they are so bonded to their roots. It reminded me of growing up with the same type friends in Detroit and it is rare that these things work out that way.

I think you will like this aspect and more of the film even if you don't like the band.

Scott

Dear Scott:

Okay, my eyes are peeled. I just watched the Bob Dylan doc for the third time. There's a bit of an interview of artist Bobby Neuwirth, where he's discussing what success and ambition meant in 1963, which had NOTHING TO DO WITH MONEY!! As he said, it was all about "Did he have something to say?" Meaning, is he making an artistic statement? Dylan certainly was, and he was clearly not interested in money. That's the theme of my film "Hammer," and I think it's incredibly pertinent. If your goal is simply to be rich, you should NOT go into the arts.

Josh

Name: Jon Cross
E-mail: gimmesugar@hotmail.com

Dear Josh,

Hey it's me the Brit again, how are you?
Yousay you've had a greek truck driver posting on your site, well there you go, I bet he had some fascinating stories. Anyhew, imagine my awe and thrill when both Alien Apocalypse and Man With a Screaming brain plopped cerimoniously on my doorstep this morning! Hooray I thought! At Last I thought!

Boy how I have waited for these films. MWSB I have wanted to see get made ever since I first heard bruce mention it in an interview or his book or wherever and AA I have wanted to see ever since I had a movie marathon night of michigander's films and started with a double bill of Thou Shalt Not Kill and Running Time and thought - boy, can't wait to see another Josh movie!

Inetersting side-note (or possibly not)
I recently moved into a house in england that had access to cable. Well I signed up. How excited was I to see that, amongst the channels, I had the Sci/Fi Channel.... that's the channel that's showing those Bruce and Josh movies I thought - BRILLIANT! Oh no, wait a minute, I live in England, I must face each new dissappointment with cynicism and a stiff upper lip. What I infact had was Sci/Fi channel UK - same company, same logo but do they show Movie of the Weeks? did they show the Bruce Night premiere of AA? Did they crap! Instead we get some low quality soft core porn offering called the Sex Files!!!!! Brilliant, I see the scientific fiction benefits there already.... out of focus scenes of badly acted sex set on mars then I presume... I actually wrote a couple of e-mails to the Sci/Fi channel as I couldn't understand if you put money towards something (like films made for your channel) why you wouldn't want to show them to the biggest crowd possible. I got the usual reply - 'we have no intention of showing that film at present but thank you for your continued interest in the Sci/fi channel's programming' Boy does all that stink worse than a skunk's week old laundry!

Hence josh, why I was so excited about the arrival of my DVDs this morning, I knew those fantastic saintly gentlemen and women at the wonderful Anchor Bay wouldn't let us rabid fanboys waiting!!! They surely are the most fantastic of all DVD companies.

Anyway - surfice to say I loved both films for many different reasons. I see what you mean about the milk scene in the restaurant in MWSB - HA HA! just pure and classic Bruce.... just as good though was the mad panic run through children in a Bulgarian square! that had me in stitches.... but AA was wonderful - really loved it, especially the way you were able to get in so many beautiful shots of the natural world. It was good that the script encompassed forrests streams mountains and so on, just some really fantastic shots of the natural world, really beautiful, also Bruce showing some real sincerity in some of the scenes and he's got such a good depth and range and it's wonderful to see him turn on a dime and play action,love,sincerity and humour all within the space of 5 shots... how many other actors can do that?? he's just fanastic and you do bring out the best in him (his running time performance is mesmerising) and also that was an excellent homage to Sparticus.

One question - what was with the all the wigs? facial and cranial??

they were just incredible, I mean laughable, but so B Movie it was brilliant.

Are there no hairy extras in Bulgaria or something? what was all that about? I mean one guy looks like he's wearing a carpet sample on his chin, it's just brilliant!

Apart from that - two excellent B Movies - true true B movies, made by modern masters of the genre... Loved them man just loved them both.

Keep up the good work!! More B Movies with beautiful scenery and brilliant shooting please!! and just put Bruce and Ted in everything they are masters of their crafts and I am 100% serious.

I can tell you the exact moment Bruce stopped being Ash for me and I realised, wow he's an amazing actor - there is a Xena episode, I am sure you know, where Xena takes over Autos body blah blah blah, anyway at the end, Xena sits Auto down and tells him that she looked inside his soul and saw real good and she knows why he puts on the act that he does and Bruce, who's listening goes from being emotional and serious and letting Xena know in a glance she's right to being all Caddish and cocky and Auto again. It was such a good switch and so believable, I was stunned and moved and it was a corny old Xena episode - so that's why bruce is a master.

So two questions -
in AA what was with the beards and the wigs man?

and

What do you think of Bruce's acting and how has it developed from the super eight days to a film like Running time or AA???

Keep on Making them, I for one will keep buying them
Take Care man
Jon

Dear Jon:

I'm very pleased you enjoyed the films. I personally think that Bruce just gets better and better, and age and some lines in his face have helped. You nailed it, it's those unspoken changes of emotion that really show an actor's range. Bruce does one beautifully, and subtly, in the "Spartacus" scene. The aliens ask which one is the leader? Bruce steps forward, then so does everybody else, and the look on his face goes from defiance to pride in his fellow humans back to defiance in a flash. I also think that Bruce and Renee handled the love scene brilliantly. Meanwhile, what was with the wings and beards? They sucked, that's what. A few days before shooting started, the first extra showed up in my office with a test beard and I gasped and said, "You've got to be kidding." The Bulgarian make-up girls, who were very cute and sincere, were not kidding. I went in and tried to work with them, showing them that beards don't have sharp lines and really want to grow right up into men's eyes. But this isn't something you can just figure out, it's a skill that must be learned from experience. I was really hoping to get Mel Tooker, who did the make-up effects for "Brain," but they wouldn't bring her in early. So I had to live with what I got, and once you start shooting someone with a bad beard, for the sake of continuity it must stay that way. The difference between a good wig and a bad wig is about $500 each.

Josh

Name: Question
E-mail: ernstyanning@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Have you ever really tried to make either of those pothead comedies or THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK or did they not interest you enough? Ever going to write an NC-17 screenplay like LAST TANGO IN PARIS or MIDNIGHT COWBOY?

Dear Q:

Each script seems important and like the film to make when you write it, but a lot is based on how people react, and does anyone show any interest. I seemed sort of close to making both "Buds" and "The Biological Clock" for one second each, but they never came to be, just like most of my scripts. Of course, at this late date "Midnight Cowboy" would barely rate an R, let alone the X it got in 1969, and I'd certainly like to make a film as good as that. But no, I have no real interest in making an NC-17 film. I'd rather see sex in a movie insinuated, or done discreetly, but just watching two naked actors pretend to fuck is humiliating, and 99 times out of 100, dramatically unnnecessary.

Josh

Name: John Hunt
E-mail: Chowkidar@aol.com

Josh,

I just don't think it possible that you can be both stuupid and a shimp. Personally, I would consider either one a status to which one should aspire.

The reason I'm writing, though, is to mention a movie on ESPN Two this evening, "Four Minutes". I've seen clips and heard reviews and it sounds interesting. It's the story of Roger Bannister, the first guy to run a mile in under four minutes. ESPN Two is running it four times this evening and I intend to watch it after the kids go to sleep. Anyway, I'll let you know what I think of it.

John

Dear John:

Thanks for the heads up, I may just watch it. I love that ESPN now makes original movies. More possibilities.

Josh

Name: Tom
E-mail: bellyoptopus@yahoo.com

"What about my storyboards made you laugh? My lack of ability at drawing?"

Hi Josh,

Ah! You 'fessed up! The drawings and captions were so childish and basic, I thought why even waste time scanning them for the DVD release. But, then I thought maybe the joke is on me and they were intentionally that way to make fun what is basically a silly extra on DVD's anyway. Either way I looked at it I responded with laughter - so thank you!

Cheers,

Tom

Dear Tom:

As long as you enjoyed yourself, that's all that matters. Yes, it's just a silly DVD extra, but storyboards always interest me.

Josh

Name: Beth
E-mail: oddlief@gmail.com

Dear Josh,

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Beth

Dear Beth:

Coffee.

Josh

Name: Mo
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

No, I'm not misreading the site, there are two sections up, one for the remake, one for the sequel. I've been all over that thing in the last few months. Hell, that site tought me how to write a screenplay.

Dear Mo:

And he says there are no plans for another sequel. Guess what? There are no plans for another sequel.

Josh


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