Thursday, March 26, 2009

Top Ten - The Eights

I didn't realise how hard this process was going to be until I brought it up with my wife and she asked about the movies she knows I love. So now she has opened a can of worms and after The Ones I might have call and apologise to some people. I will be more frequent with my entries but for now here are the eights.

Top Ten - The Eights

Shawshank redemption Do you trust your wife?

This is a case of an exceptional novella being adapted into an exceptional script and filmed by exceptional cast and crew. I saw this at the cinemas in 1995 with two close friends and we were the only people in the cinema. After word of mouth reserved for movie experiences like Sixth Sense and Sideways a few more people saw it at the cinemas however not enough. Then it was nominated for 7 oscars and people started to take notice. After building up steam people started to hire the movie out and the rest as we say in the biz is history. #1 movie of all-time in many lists including and Empire.

Sure this movie is better than most of my movies in the top 7 but I’m a sucker for mass acceptance and more of a fan of lesser known pieces of art. Silly but it’s me!

Twilight time - Platters
Heavenly shades of night are falling /It's twilight time / Out of the mist your voice is calling / It's twilight time /When purple colored curtains/ Mark the end of the day / I hear you my dear at twilight time

If you have ever been in love, and I’ve been lucky enough to feel it once, then you WILL understand this song. Sure you wouldn’t want to mosh to it but you need a repertoire of songs for ALL of the different emotions and situations you might find yourself on. This is my sitting at home having a candle lit dinner with my wife song, and I love it!

It also doesn’t hurt that I’m a big fan of the Platters, this is another hark back to my childhood and the music my parents listened to.

In a nut shell this song is cooler than the other side of a pillow.

T.V Series
Ned and Stacey - Smoke up the house Ezy-E

This breaks the rule of longevity but not through the fault of Ned Dorsey (Thomas Haden Church) and his crazy antics. Not only did he have to put up with Stacey Colbert (Debra Messing) he also got to play with partner in crime Rico (Greg Germann). Every episode is tried and tested and Ned does NOT come up wanting!

This had to be in my top ten however longevity and other quality shows has it representing the Eight.

Phantom Tollbooth - The Demon of Insincerity

With out a doubt one of the ‘wittiest’ books I have ever read. Short of writing a 1500 word thesis I’ll try to pay tribute and spell it out for you.
Milo finds a package in his bedroom containing a miniature purple tollbooth and a map of the Kingdom of Wisdom. He drives in his toy car, and is instantly transported to Wisdom. Enjoying the ride, he pays no attention to his route and soon becomes lost in the Doldrums, a colorless place where thinking and laughing are not allowed. However, he is found there and rescued by Tock, a watchdog with the body of an alarm clock, who joins him on his journey.
First stop is Dictionopolis, one of two capital cities of Wisdom. They visit the word marketplace, where all the world's words are bought and sold. After an altercation between the Spelling Bee and the blustering Humbug, Milo and Tock are imprisoned by the very short Officer Shrift. In the prison, Milo learns the history of Wisdom. Its two rulers, King Azaz the Unabridged and the Mathemagician, had two adopted younger sisters, Rhyme and Reason, who had settled all disputes in the kingdom. Everyone lived in harmony until the rulers disagreed with the princesses' decision that letters and numbers were equally important. They banished the princesses to the Castle in the Air, and since then, the kingdom has been plagued with discord and disharmony.
Milo and Tock leave the dungeon and attend a banquet given by King Azaz, where the participants literally eat their words. King Azaz allows Milo and the Humbug to talk themselves into a quest to rescue the princesses. Azaz appoints the Humbug as a guide, and he, Milo and Tock set off for the Mathemagician's capital of Digitopolis to get his approval for their quest.
Along the way they meet fantastic characters like Alec Bings, a little boy who sees through things and grows until he reaches the ground, and have adventures like watching Chroma conduct his orchestra in playing the colors of the sunset.
In Digitopolis, their first stop is the mine where numbers are dug out and precious stones are thrown away. They eat subtraction stew, which makes the diner hungrier. The Mathemagician erases the mine with his magic pencil eraser, he and Milo discuss Infinity, and Milo proves to the Mathemagician that he must allow them to rescue the princesses.
In the Mountains of Ignorance, the three intrepid journeyers contend with lurking, obstructionist demons like the Terrible Trivium and the Senses Taker. Milo thwarts them from stopping his quest by using gifts he has received in Wisdom. After overcoming all obstacles and their own fears, the questers reach the Castle in the Air. The two princesses welcome Milo and agree to return to Wisdom. When the group leaves, Tock carries them through the sky, because, after all, time flies. The armies of Wisdom welcome the princesses home, King Azaz and the Mathemagician are reconciled, and all enjoy a three-day celebration of the return of Rhyme and Reason.
This is something I wish I had the talent to write!!

I hope you enjoyed the list! I certainly did!

Until then leanr to use soap!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Top Ten - The Nines

Alrighty then, I sense the Nines coming up. Before I start however I would like to issue a disclaimer. MY top ten is based on my tastes and preferences not what high flying literati deem worthy. My books WON’T include the complete collection of Shakespeare and the bible. My movies WON’T include Citizen Kane (although it’s an awesome movie) or Blue Velvet (another good movie). My songs WON’T include Beethoven’s 9th or Celine Dion. My T.V. series WON’T include documentaries about Hitler or Alzheimer’s Disease. They WILL include entries that have touched and inspired me. Anyway here we go!

Top Ten – The Nines

El Mariachi - Bucho

This is almost the single biggest force in inspiring me to write for the screen. Robert Rodriguez is a film making tour du force and epitomizes everything I love about the film creation process. Technically El is not Rodriguez’s best outing but for ME watching this (particularly with the audio commentary on) makes me want to grab a camera and shoot!

Killer Queen – Queen - Caviar and cigarettes Well versed in etiquette Extraordinarily nice

Queen had to be in my top ten. The only question was where. As a little boy I would hold a figurine of my mothers and mouth the words as Freddie belted out the words. My dad was a huge fan, my brothers are huge fans and damn it so am I!!! Forget Harvey Milk I’d be more interested in seeing a Mercury movie extravaganza. While living in England when my lovely wife game me the chace to pick a ‘show’to see, we saw We Will Rock You. Front Row centre seat and I was in Queen heaven. Tell me you don't read the above lyrics you don’t start singing the song. Sure there are many other songs by Queen that could have made this list but I had to stick by one and although it changed 5 times, this is it, just finished listening to the Live Killers version and it ROCKS!!!!

T.V. Series
The Twilght Zone - This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.

I’m talking about the Rod Serling series that started in ’59 and lasted 5 seasons. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘80’s series and the movie. Rod Serling’s opening monologue precludes to strange happenings about to be fed into my Gulliver. One of the great things to come out of doing my own top tens (and I recommend you all try for yourself) is the soul searching and surprises that come out of it. This was one of those surprises, I knew I liked The Twilight Zone but how much wasn’t prevalent until I had to place it within a hierarchy.

The Great and Secret Show – Clive Barker – Seth and Owen.

My esteemed brother would be proud that the Liverpoolian homosexual is included here. Ryan got me onto this author and overall I am impressed. TGSS is the epic of epics. So many subplots spin and revolve on a pin head in this strange story, too many for me to blog on about but I will say the characters are rich, plot think and prose silky smooth.

That’s all for the Nines!

Hope you’ve enjoyed it. If not comment! If so comment!

Until then hail to the king baby!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Paper Street Publishing teams up with Tight Spot Productions

I haven't been as excited about a script since the good gentlemen at Lav Productions took on one of my shorts. In a first for me I'm collaborating, although it's with my brother and we have been talking movies since Kurt Russell was rocking out the beard and fighting aliens.

Having written many scripts that have started out well but puttered to a smokey demise, I can sense that this script is polishing up nicely and has already taken on a life and identity. All I will say is that it's titled 'SOAP' and it's NOT an homage to American History X. Watch this space.

I would also like to welcome a very good mate of mine to the real world. AKA share accommodation. He's bought a Wii so I don't think his housemates will kick him out just yet. All hail Roweyboy!!!

As for literature the next post WILL be the nines but I would like to share that I've just started reading Needful Things - Stephen King and there are few authors who can consistently make me excited to delve into the depths of a story.

Until then go Rooboys!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Top Ten - The Tens

Over the next ten installments I will be counting down my favourite movies, books, songs and television series’. Some of my choices will be made with the heart, some with my brain and hopefully some of them with both. If you know me relatively well you’ll probably have a 70-80% success rate but getting the order right might be trickier. I won’t just bang out the ten like a cheap hooker. I’m going explain why each one deserves the right to represent.

Let’s not delay, here are the ones who scraped into the 10th spot.

Boyz n the HoodAll you do is eat sleep and shit

This one is definitely more heart than head, hell isn’t that what 10th place is for? A wise movie critic once pointed out to me that this would be a perfect midday movie if not for the repeated use of the F word. I don’t care! Watching Tre being raised on the mean ghetto streets by his wise father Furious is uplifting and entertaining. There’s definitely heart in this movie, but it also showed the chops of a young black director names John Singleton. There are ya convinced yet?

Better - Screaming Jets - You say you never get anywhere!

This is one of the all-time pub sing along songs. It has a kickin beat and lyrics you can really sink your teeth into. I remember playing it in my car once and my grandfather was nodding his head to the beat, or maybe he was falling asleep. Either way I can always find time to listen to this song, it rocks!

T.V Series
Two Guys and Girl and a Pizza PlaceRyan Reynolds

I really dig the first few seasons of this and even though it didn’t keep up the high standards I still enjoyed most episodes. Again this is why there is a 10th position. Longevity has a lot to say about a series and four seasons ain't too bad. I’ll have more to write about other series’.

A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess – A malenky bit of the old ultra-violence

I finished this book two days ago and it’s the only book on the list I’ve read in the last three years. Once I wrapped my head around the slavo talk I just enjoyed the book for what it is. A social commentary about youth, violence and the rights of the government. I on a rare occasion saw the movie before I read the book and although I highly rate the movie, the book is superior. A clever book by an author at the top of his game. I have no apologies for this selection.

Well that’s all for the Tens!! The Nines are on their way!!

Until then!