Archive for ‘Film’

November 11, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier… In Review

by darkjade68

Captain_America_The_Winter_Soldier_poster_005

1705780-captain_america_3Captain America; Let me start by saying, Captain America was my Favorite Super Hero growing up… Him, and The Flash. So when The “Captain America: First Avenger” came out a few years ago (There’s A Review Of That One On This Site Somewhere As Well), I was really looking forward to it. Especially since I really like the Actor who played (Plays) him, Chris Evans. That said, I wasn’t all that thrilled with that movie. Many liked it, but for some reason it didn’t hit home with me. However, I did like the way Captain America was later portrayed in “The Avengers”.

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-Captain-America-and-BatrocStory;  The Story is good. I don’t want to give away more than that. This isn’t ‘just’ an Action Film, there are hints of mystery involved.

Directing; At the beginning, I felt that the Directing was a bit dry… But then it picked up, and I thought they did a good job. The hand to hand fight scenes are particularly good.

Characters;

ca 2Captain America (Chris Evans); Like I mentioned above, I really like Chris Evans. I originally saw him in The Fantastic Four prior to becoming Captain America, as The Human Torch. He was good in that as well. In this third portrayal of Captain America/Steve Rodgers, Chris continued to grow, as did the Captain America character. The Character is finally starting to resemble the way I had always pictured him, not just a ‘Super Patriot’, but an interesting man who loves his country.

black widowBlack Widow (Scarlett Johansson); Strangely, out of all of the characters in “The Avengers”, Black Widow ended up being my favorite. Well, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man was, basically, an already established great character from the Iron Man Films… But still, Black Widow was great. And this isn’t because Scarlett is pretty. I’ve always thought she could act, ever since I first saw her in “The Horse Whisperer”. That said, initially I didn’t like how they Directed her in this film. But she kept getting better and better, and by the end started to more resemble the way she portrayed the role in “The Avengers”.

captain-america-2-the-winter-soldier-armWinter Soldier  (Sebastian Stan); This is a Very Cool Character. And though you can’t see the Character’s face all that much, his body language, and general vibe made him a very interesting bad guy.

the_falcon_captain_america_the_winter_soldier-wideThe Falcon (Anthony Mackie); I was shocked, and surprised to see they had brought the character ‘The Falcon’ to life. I had no idea that he would be in this Film. That said, this is a great character. And though The Falcon was in the earlier days of the Captain America Comic Book, prior to when I used to read it, I’ve always like The Falcon Character, and the Actor they chose to play him, is Great. I originally came to like this Actor in “The Adjustment Bureau”… Which by the way, if you haven’t seen, see it. He is the best part in that Film… That and the Directing and Music.

captain-america-winter-soldier-robert-redford-samuel-l-jacksonThe Rest Of The Cast; The rest of the cast is good, especially Robert Redford and Samual Jackson, who in my opinion, are always good. Ironically Robert Redford is the one who Discovered Scarlett Johansson as a young Actress, and put her in his Film “The Horse Whisperer”… So I thought it was interesting that they had an opportunity to act together again.

The Review; Like I mentioned above, this is more than an Action Movie. There is a bit of mystery involved, and for Captain America, Character Development. Which is good, because he’ll be back in the Second Avengers Film soon. I liked the Characters in this Film, and the Pacing. But I especially liked the further evolving of Captain America. He was a Really Great Character in this Film. So was The Falcon. Oh, and The Winter Soldier Character, like I say, was really good.

I’d say this was a 3.25-3.5 out of 5. If you like Captain America, I think you’ll like this Film.

May 2, 2014

Star Wars… How Has It Affected You, Or Someone You Love? Have A Story, I’ll Post It

by darkjade68

vanity-fair-star-wars-star-wars-29334722-2518-946Star Wars… How Has It Affected You, Or Someone You Love? Have A Story, I’ll Post It

Perhaps you’re wondering why all the sudden I’m starting to Post things Related to “Star Wars”

Well, like I say, I haven’t been really following all the Hoopla in regards to the New Films

Not because I don’t support Lucas’s decision to sell the Rights to Disney… Because I do

Probably mainly because I’ve never been a guy who Follows Hoopla of any kind, Lol

That said

With the New Film (Episode VII) coming out in 2015

And with “Star Wars Day” Coming on May 4th (I didn’t realize this wasn’t the First Year for this)

I’ve decided to Embrace Both the New Films

And “Star Wars Day”

Why? Mainly because “Star Wars” is the reason I decided to pursue Film Making (Which I did for 3 years)

And because, both Walt Disney, and George Lucas are two of my Heroes

Nuff Said… This Article below I Posted on My “The Written Word” Blog  last month

If Any of you would like me to Post a Story about what “Star Wars” means to you

Or how it has impacted your, or someone you love’s life

Email it to LegendsUndying@Yahoo.Com

And I Will Post It During the Next Week

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Star Wars… The Reason I Became A Film Maker – My Story (Part I)

star wars 2Star Wars… The Reason I Became A Film Maker – My Story (Part I)

It was May, 1977…

My Brother, Mom and I went to see the Original “Star Wars”

My Brother and My Lives would never the same

That Opening Sequence…

The Size of the Ship

And in Walked My Favorite All Time Villain, Darth Vader

Darth HelmThe Cape, The Helmet, The Voice

The Force…

He’s Affected me forever in regards to Villains

He has, in fact, Set The Bar

And has Lead me Directly to my Theory that

In a Story where there are ‘Good Guys’

And there are ‘Bad Guys’

(Be it Movie, Book or Other)

A Story can only be as good as ‘The Bad Guy’

Cuz who cares if the Good Guy Defeats some Fool, Lol

Check My Theory Out on some of your Favorite Good Guy Bad Guy Films

Flashback to

“Robin Hood Prince of Thieves”

That Movie would have been Horrible without Alan Rickman as The Sheriff of Nottingham

(It’s Still Pretty Horrible, and Dated, Lol but Rickman was Hilarious)

Flash Forward to

“Avengers”

Tom Hiddleston as Loki

Guarantee you, if Loki had been Played by anyone less then him

It wouldn’t have done nearly as well

Onward

Luke…

At the time I saw “Star Wars”, I was 8 years old

And, in Truth, I was more of a ‘Han Solo’ guy

My Bro was into ‘Luke’

Which worked out good in regards to Toys, and/or Acting out Scenes Etc.

But Looking back now, I have really gained an Appreciation for Luke’s Character

He is Hope… He is Light

And I do believe, Visually, George Lucas was inspired a bit by…

Peter O’toole as Lawrence…

The Desert…

The White Clothing, and White/Blonde Hair

Very Luke-esq

Also, did you see Alec Guiness in it as a Sheik?

Probably where Lucas got the idea to bring him into “Star Wars”

Which leads us to… Ben

Enter… The Force

And… Light Sabers

Which are a Simply Elegant Weapon

And Damn Cool Looking, Lol

But I Love Knights, so

The Blend of Sci-Fi, and Knights…

Yeah…

I was Done

But it’s Time For ‘The Man’

He was My Favorite Man…

I wanted to be ‘Han Solo’

Me, and a Million other young Boys, Lol

So a Young Hopeful Hero (Luke)

And an Aging Knight of the Jedi Order (Ben)

Along with a Roguish Pilot (Han Solo)

An Annoying Nagging Robot (C-3PO)

With a Hilarious Beeping Robot (R2d2)

Oh, an a Giant Wolf/Bear Growling Co-Pilot (Chewbacca)

off to Save a Princes (Leia)

From the Coolest Evil Dude in Film (Darth Vader)

Great Start, Right?

Oh, and did I mention the Millennium Falcon?

===========================

Star Wars… The Reason I Became A Film Maker – My Story (Part II)

COMING SOON

 

March 28, 2014

Twitter’s Not That Bad… Joss Whedon (Avengers 2), and T.V. Batman Creator Dies @ 91

by darkjade68

Joss Whedon

ORIGINAL ARTICLE POSTED HERE

Joss Whedon Talks ‘Avengers 2’ Shoot in Seoul (Video)

11:53 AM PDT 3/28/2014 by Graeme McMillan

The director, who preemptively apologized for any “inconvenience,” noted that the shoot in the South Korean capital would include “exciting action” scenes.

Joss Whedon
Joss Whedon

Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon has a message for the people of Seoul, where the movie will be shooting for the next two weeks.

Saying that he is “really grateful and excited to be shooting in [Seoul],” Whedon apologized for the disruption the Avengers shoot is likely to cause throughout its two-week duration in South Korea. “We are going to mess it up and inconvenience some people for a few days, and I apologize for that. I know what that’s like, I live in Los Angeles; it happens to me all the time and it’s not fun,” he said in a video note (see below).

STORY: Marvel Finalizes Details for “Avengers 2’ Shoot in Seoul

“We love this movie, we love your city, and having the two of them together will show the city to the world in a light that I don’t think it’s been shown, certainly not in America,” Whedon continued, adding that he apologizes for how hard it will be to shoot what he described as the “exciting action” scenes in the city and describing the opportunity to do so as “a real privilege.”

The Seoul shoot for Avengers: Age of Ultron will last from March 30 through April 14, with it expected to cause a sizable amount of disruption in the city due to closing off a number of bridges and areas of the city as needed. When the Seoul location was initially announced, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige described South Korea as “the perfect location” for the movie “because it features cutting-edge technology, beautiful landscapes and spectacular architecture.”

 

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T.V.Batman

Lorenzo Semple Jr., Creator of TV’s ‘Batman,’ Dies at 91

Lorenzo Semple, Jr. - P 2014
Hana Kalvachova/isifa//Getty Images

He moved to the movies and wrote screenplays for “The Parallax View,” “Three Days of the Condor,” “Papillon,” “Flash Gordon” and “Never Say Never Again.”

Lorenzo Semple Jr., the creator of the campily classic Batman TV series who went on to craft such big-screen paranoid thrillers as The Parallax View and Three Days of the Condor — though he would be replaced on both films — has died. He turned 91 on Thursday.

The screenwriter died Friday of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles, his daughter Maria Semple — the novelist and Emmy-nominated comedy writer-producer who has worked on such series as Mad About YouSuddenly Susan and Arrested Development — told Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter.

Semple’s résumé also includes the Steve McQueenDustin Hoffman escape tale Papillon (1973); Paul Newman’s Harper sequel The Drowning Pool (1975); Dino De LaurentiisKing Kong (1976) starring Jessica Lange; and the rogue James Bond movie Never Say Never Again (1983).

Most recently, Semple and Marcia Nasatir, a former studio executive, producer and agent, teamed for Reel Geezers, an R-rated YouTube series that saw the Hollywood octogenarians bicker as they reviewed movies.

“We had such fun doing it,” Nasatir said. “He was a wonderful, smart, funny guy and a great friend.”

Semple, who was hired by producer (and eventual Batman narrator) William Dozier to create the superhero show for 20th Century Fox Television and ABC, said he always envisioned the series as a comedy, albeit one played with a straight face.

Semple wrote only the first four episodes, but he served as a script or story consultant on every other installment. He also penned the show’s “bible” for the other writers. (One rule: Batman should never break the law, not even to park in a no-parking zone during a crime-fighting emergency.)

Semple came up with the idea for interspersing the show’s fight scenes with exploding and colorful Pow! Zap! and Kapow! graphics; found the Riddler’s riddles in books popular with third-graders; and named every device the Bat-this or the Bat-that. For Robin’s “Holy (Fill in the Blank!),” he riffed off a similar phrase used by an elderly character in the Tom Swift books.

STORY: Batman Becomes a Family Business in ‘Son of Batman’ Animated Movie

Batman, which starred the perfectly cast Adam West as the Caped Crusader and Burt Ward as Robin the Boy Wonder, aired on consecutive days each week during its first two seasons, with the first episode climaxing with a cliff-hanger. A huge ratings and merchandising smash at the start, it quickly flamed out.

“I think Batman was the best thing I ever wrote, including those big movies,” Semple said in a September 2008 interview with the Archive of American Television. “As a whole work, it came out the way that I wanted it to, and I was excited by it.

“I once went down to a fancy wine-tasting benefit in Princeton. When people found out I wrote Batman, they mobbed me! I was astounded.”

Semple also penned the Batman movie that was released in July 1966 between seasons one and two; that took him two weeks.

He was born Lorenzo Semple III on March 27, 1923, in New Rochelle, N.Y., the oldest of four children. His uncle was the dramatist Philip Barry, and the mother of a high-school classmate was writer Ursula Parrott. She encouraged him to write, and he sold what he described as a “light love story” to The Saturday Evening Post.

Semple enrolled at Yale but soon left school for France in 1941 to drive an ambulance for the Free French Forces. He earned a Croix de Guerre after surviving a battle in the Libyan desert, returned to the U.S., was drafted into the Army and given a Bronze Star. A contrived story about military intelligence he wrote made it into Time magazine.

Out of the service, Semple took drama writing classes at Columbia with the goal of becoming a playwright. He penned Tonight in Samarkand, an adaptation of a French play about a circus that played briefly on Broadway and starred Theodore Bikel.

In the late 1950s, MGM paid him $100,000 for the rights to Golden Fleecing, his comedy set in a hotel in Venice, Italy, that had yet to open on Broadway. Directed by Abe Burrows (the father of Cheers co-creator James Burrows), the play debuted in October 1959 starring Tom Poston and Suzanne Pleshette but lasted a scant nine weeks.

MGM remade the play as The Honeymoon Machine (1961). “It was the only Steve McQueen film that ever lost money,” Semple quipped.

RELATED: Remembering Dino De Laurentiis (1919 – 2010)

He moved to Los Angeles and had scripts accepted for such TV shows as The Rogues, starring Charles Boyer and David Niven, and the Aaron Spelling-produced Burke’s Law, starring Gene Barry. And he wrote the first episode of the action series The Rat Patrol, drawing on his experience in Libya.

When Dozier had an idea to do an hour show called Number One Son, about the offspring of the great fictional detective Charlie Chan, he asked Semple to write the pilot.

“I did the job, ABC liked it,” Semple recalled in the TV Archive interview. “Then Bill got a call from ABC. They said, ‘This is very embarrassing, but it has been decided that we don’t want any stories with an ethnic hero. Period. That’s the end of it. Number One Son is dead.’ But, they said, ‘We owe you and Lorenzo one. We treated you very badly.’”

Semple left to live in Spain with his wife and two young children to concentrate on writing a play. Soon, he got a cable from Dozier (the writer didn’t have a phone) asking to him to meet him in Madrid.

“Bill shamefacedly pulled out of his coat pocket a comic, Batman,” Semple said. “He said, ‘ABC has proposed doing a series on Batman. You and I can do it.’ I said, ‘It’s a terrific idea; go home and I’ll write it.’”

ABC loved Semple’s pop-art sensibility and scheduled the series in midseason without a pilot. During Batman’s first season, he worked from Spain via mail, never met any of the actors and said he received not one critical note from an executive at ABC or Fox.

Semple also didn’t make a lot of money; he said he earned just a few hundred dollars for working on each Batman episode he didn’t write. It didn’t seem to bother him.

“If I had been with a big agency, I presumably could have parlayed [Batman] into a very good overall deal at some point,” he said. “I didn’t do that at all. In those days, the goal was always to get into features.”

STORY: Robert Redford’s Oscar Snub: Who’s to Blame?

Semple eventually had to relocate to the States to work more closely on Batman, moving first to Westport, Conn., and then to Los Angeles, where he eventually rented Boris Karlov’s house and co-wrote Fathom (1967), starring a skydiving Raquel Welch.

His screenplay for the devilish comedy Pretty Poison (1968), starring Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins, earned him a New York Critics Circle prize.

Semple wrote a screenplay on spec for Alan J. Pakula’s The Parallax View (1974), a thriller that starred Warren Beatty as an ambitious reporter who investigates a senator’s assassination. Semple’s lead character was a baseball player; he wasn’t interested in how the story was changing and quit to work on Papillon.

But soon after Hoffman joined the cast of that Franklin J. Schaffner film, Semple was replaced by the Oscar-winning Dalton Trumbo.

“He did not do as much work as one would think,” Semple said in the TV Archive interview. “Dalton Trumbo was a famous letter writer; he wrote me a string of letters saying I shouldn’t get any credit, that he should have sole credit. I threw them all away, I never answered any of them.”

STORY: Bryan Cranston to Star as Blacklisted Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo

On Sydney Pollack’s Three Days of the Condor (1975), starring Robert Redford, Semple said he was not surprised when he was eventually let go from that picture. “David Rayfiel wrote all of Redford’s movies, credited or not … Everybody knew they were going to bring in David Rayfiel at some point.”

Semple met with Sean Connery in Marbella, Spain and sold him on his 70-page treatment for Never Say Never Again, which saw the aging actor return as 007 in the much-litigated Warner Bros. film based on Thunderball. But when some action scenes were cut as a cost-saving measure, the producers pacified an angry Connery by blaming — and then booting — Semple.

“I was quite relieved; I really didn’t want to go on with it,” he said. “I also agree a human sacrifice is required when a project goes wrong; it makes all the survivors feel very good.”

STORY: MGM, Danjaq Settle 50-Plus Year Legal Fight Over James Bond Rights

Semple later wrote the screenplays for the silly Flash Gordon (1980), the Tanya Roberts-starring Sheena (1984) and several telefilms.

In addition to his daughter Maria, survivors include his wife Joyce, children Johanna and Lorenzo III and six grandchildren.

A longtime WGA board member, Semple taught screenwriting at New York University’s NYU Tisch School of the Arts from 1984-90. In the TV Archive interview, he expressed disdain for the “self-pitying” scribe.

“I’ve heard many writers say, ‘We’re the only ones that face the agony of the blank page’ … I say, actually, you’re idiotic,” he said. “The blank page is the greatest moment of writing a script. It could be the greatest script in the world. It’s going to go downhill from here as you write it. But be happy that you have the privilege of facing it.”

Twitter: @mikebarnes4