John Cleese is spot-on regarding his thoughts on political correctness.
“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. Continue reading “Quote: What It Takes To Be Number One”
Jackie Chan: Action Auteur
Tons of ink and digital pixels have been spilled talking about how Jackie Chan risks his life to please his audiences, and for good reason. Are his stunts amazing? Yes. Without question. But whenever anyone talks or write about Jackie, all they focus on is the action. This is a huge disservice to the man. What is missing in the conversation is Jackie Chanʼs immense talent and ability as a filmmaker, a director, an auteur. Thatʼs right. Auteur. The snooty French auteur theory talks about how even in a collaborative medium such as film, a singular voice can influence and imprint a movie with their vision and style. In Police Story & Police Story II, Jackie Chan was the director, co-writer, star and stunt coordinator.
How better to define singular vision and influence on a picture?
Prior to Police Story, cop movies had degenerated from intense thrillers and dramas such as The French Connection and Serpico into hackneyed procedurals that resembled something on television, only with bigger budgets, movie stars and excessive macho posturing. The genre had become so worn out that the only way to make a cop film stand out was to combine it with another genre like comedy (e.g., Beverly Hills Cop). Enter Jackie Chan.
This is an article I wrote about the Chow Yun-fat film The Corruptor for an unfortunately now defunct site:
Complicated ‘Corruptor’: Shades of Gray in a Complex World
Morality is complicated. Unlike what our “betters” tell us, the world is not black and white. One transgression or thought crime does not make you a bad person. Who you were or what you said or thought years or decades earlier does not represent who you are now. People are complex. The best stories and movies reflect this reality and provide not answers, but questions that help us explore the complicated nature of our humanity. One such movie is James Foley’s fantastic 1999 film The Corruptor, starring The King of Cool, aka Chow Yun-Fat, and a young Mark Wahlberg.
“You don’t change Chinatown, it changes you.” – Nick Chen (Chow Yun-Fat) Continue reading “Complicated ‘Corruptor’: Shades of Gray in a Complex World”
This was a commercial that I acted in for the insurance company Avvo. I am the guy eating ice cream that gets buried in bags of mulch. Fun times. Plastic ice cream.
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain
Too many times, writers mistake information for drama. The need to make sure that the audience understands everything, that nothing is left out, overcomes our better judgement and as a result we write undramatic drivel that serves no purpose except to inform. Continue reading “The Difference Between Drama and Non-Drama”
“A good movie is three good scenes and no bad scenes.” – Howard Hawks
This was Howard Hawks’ answer when asked what makes a good movie. It sounds simple but it is easier said than done.
Enjoy this great scene from the movie Sling Blade.