Friday, January 23, 2015

2015 Horror Movies

I see you shiver with antici.....


Sorry. It was very late when I thought of this post and I didn't want to forget to do it. 

Whatever regular readers I have left know about my love of Horror movies, good and bad. And I'm always on the lookout for some interesting, original and startling works. And 2015 seems quite promising for this jaded genre guru. 

Four upcoming Horror movies have particularly caught my attention with some rather intense trailers. And while I'd love to talk about Guillermo del Toro's Gothic ghost movie Crimson Peak, there isn't any footage from the closely-guarded film to share just yet. Still, these four upcomings movies are pinging high on my personal radar!

 First up, a film from writer/director Adam Green (Hatchet; Frozen - no not  the Disney one). In Digging Up the Marrow, genre veteran Ray Wise plays a man who claims to have discovered an underground realm in which real monsters reside. 

New writer/director David Robert Mitchell makes his wide-distribution debut with It Follows, an interesting take on "Tag. You're It!" Starring no one you know, the very atmospheric trailer seems like it could be the start of several careers.

Chris Sparling, writer of the claustrophobic Ryan Reynolds movie Buried, directs The Atticus Institute, about an attempt by the military to weaponize demonic possession. It's one of the most insane movie concepts I can imagine and I can't wait to see it!

And while this last movie is actually a prequel, I'm still very excited to see it. James Wan's Insidious was one of the most effective Horror movies of the last 10 years, though it's sequel disappointed. Wan's long-time writing partner Leigh Whannel makes directing debut with Insidious Chapter 3:

I know there will plenty more Horror movies in the coming year. What movies are you looking forward to seeing in 2015?

More, anon.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Why "Selma" Won't Win

Click Image to Embiggen
"Racism is dead in America." ~ Anne Coulter.

By now you should know how I feel about Awards shows in general. Admittedly, I'll watch the Oscars this year, just to see NPH (loved his lunacy on "American Horror Story" this season). Like most Americans, I have seen very few of the nominated movies. I've seen Boyhood (which I didn't care for enough to even bother reviewing) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (which I did review and honestly wanted to like more than I did). With the exception of Birdman, I honestly have no interested in seeing the other nominated films. Not that you shouldn't see them or that they shouldn't be seen. And while I guess if was a professional critic, I would have seen them all, but probably grumbled about seeing more than one. Oddly, the rest of the nominees are all biopics... American Sniper; The Imitation Game; The Theory of Everything; Whiplash and Selma are all real-life stories. Fictionalized, of course, for dramatic interest. 

But it is Selma in particular, which seems to have generated the most controversy. First, it was reported that the movie was historically inaccurate and portrays Lyndon Johnson as opposed Dr. King's march in Alabama and the Voting Rights Act. And then the Oscar nominations came out. And while Selma is nominated for Best Picture, not one of its cast were nominated. In fact, not a single person of color was nominated in any performance category. Not a single Black, Latino, Asian or multiracial person on the list! No Inuit; Pacific Islanders; Native Americans; Maori or Aboriginals, either. That's just... I mean, how does a film get nominated for Best Picture, without a single nomination for any actor that's in it or the director who made it? One might also ask how The Color Purple didn't win a single one of its 11 nominations. Or why Brokeback Mountain lost to Crash. Oh, wait, wasn't Crash about racism? Sure, but in a really awful, hit-you-over-the-head way that went way out it's way to prove a point. Plus, it didn't have any icky man-on-man kissing. 

Hollywood, that supposed bastion of liberal hedonism, is racist, sexist and homophobic. Now, I know I'm not saying anything new here. But the Oakland Tribune headline up on the right just put it so succinctly and hilariously, that I had to comment, especially when the country is about to enjoy a three-day weekend in celebration of Dr. King's birthday. It's like the Academy voters are saying "We like the idea of civil rights; we just don't like the people who are asking for them."

Selma doesn't have a chance of winning Best Picture on February 22nd. Because the more things seem to change, the more they stay the same. 

For what it's worth, here are the trailers for this year's Best Picture nominees:

So, I guess... Yay, White People!? Ugh! Oh, and by the way... F*ck You, Anne Coulter!

Uncle P used to participate in a charitable event every MLK weekend as my Day of Service, but they and I parted ways a while ago and I focused my volunteering on the JTMF. Of course, JTMF is all but dead (only our Facebook page remains), though a last gasp may be at hand with a project I'll be talking about (and directing again!) soon.

If you are lucky enough to be off, enjoy your holiday. Don't feel obligated to do a Day of Service because it's MLK Day. You should always fee obligated to do service whenever you can. But if you need a special day for it, so be it. 

More anon,

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dear Leelah

Leelah Alcorn
Dear Leelah;

Why didn't you ask for help? Why didn't you seek out those who understand? Why were you afraid?

The answer is simple: Superstition.

My heart is broken, once again. I cannot understand a parent who does not truly unconditionally love their children (or those who do not truly grasp the definition of that word).

We've all experienced emotional pain in our lives. Uncle P has seen his own struggles with it and I can remember more than one time when I registered higher than a 7 on the Suicide Scale. But I recognized the need for help and sought it. Even now, I have to say that counseled therapy was the best thing I ever did for myself. Of course, I was well above the 'Age of Consent' when I did so. Still - there can be no justification for anyone taking their own lives because their religion or their families tell them that they are somehow defective, wrong and/or evil just because of who they are.

Leelah was just 17 when she took her life by stepping into traffic on an Ohio highway. last month. She was still considered a minor and by Ohio was bound to follow her religious parents rules and preconceptions. Her parents, while still claiming to have loved her 'unconditionally' have still refused to acknowledge Leelah's own gender identity.

Reach out. Offer an ear or a save haven. Make sure that those who need help, get it! STOP this horrific epidemic!

Share anti-suicide information. Support The Trevor Project; The Tyler Clementi Foundation and/or your local anti-suicide charity. Too many lives have been wasted, Too much potential has been lost.

I can't wait until I never have to make this rant again.

More, anon,

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, New Hope

First post of the New Year! 

2014 was a very mixed bag for Uncle P. Plenty of great stuff happened: I met someone amazing; I was in an exceptional show (Bluebird); I completely redecorated my living room and kitchen; I got a new washing machine; I got a new vacuum; I got to visit San Francisco again and went to Vegas for the first time. 

Conversely, plenty of other stuff sucked: I lost two very sweet and talented friends; my washing machine, chest freezer and vacuum all went the way of all things; I found out that my father's second wife's children might have a claim to my house* and there's a ton of taxes owed on the property I inherited and I have no idea how I'm going to pay it; I found out my mother fell victim to the mortgage frauds perpetrated by Fannie Mae and Bank of America in the first decade of the 21st Century and taking on a an unwanted (but needed) boarder has proven difficult (he's a bit of an irresponsible slob - though he's working on it) and not as financially beneficial as I'd hoped. 

This year, I already have two potential shows (plus a special tribute show to one of those lost friends) lined up and I am determined to find a way out of the financial mess Mom left me (I loved her dearly, but am angry at how much she kept from me). I am hoping to continue to repaint and redecorate the rest of my house while continuing to write plays, screenplays and this blog.

I am thankful for the loving and supportive people in my life (both online and IRL) and the steady paycheck from the Day Job (no matter how much I may complain about our clients, it's still a great place to work). 

My wish for all of you in 2015 is prosperity; good health; solid relationships and the kind of astonishingly loving and supportive network of friends I am lucky enough to have. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here's to 2015 being better than 2014!

More, anon.

*They've since all agreed to sign off on their claims. It would have cost them more in legal fees than they might possibly have gained, anyway.