Joel

The Cutting Room Floor

Or Something Like It.........

Weird Entry and Stuff...
Joel
damngoodphil
So looking at my last entry, it feels really schitzophrentic. It started off with just some interesting questions about people I haven't seen in a while, but then segues into some weird rant about not wanting to go to a reunion. It comes together in the end, but still, I think I was far too harsh on the whole high school reunion thing. Hmm.

Oh yeah...

I GOT A NEW JOB!

On a studio lot!

And it's fun so far!

I hope it stays this way. Please?

Stay Tuned...

Reminiscing those High School days...
Joel
damngoodphil
So I've had a little more free time lately (being unemployed will do that to you). I've kept pretty busy; taking care of the apartment, making time for the Temple L.A. kids, helping the new permanent L.A. residents get settled, and of course, applying and interviewing at different jobs. I also have Matt Shichtman staying with me temporarily, so things are far from quiet.

However, lately I've been thinking a lot about the past, high school particularly. I'm not sure why, but something drove me to look at some of the old yearbooks; reading what people wrote, checking out the pictures, and so on. So much has changed since then for all of us. Looking back now, I feel a strange duality in those years; things felt simpler, yet were more complicated; it was exciting, yet tense; we were free spirited, yet constrained. I still have fond memories and I've even learned to embrace a lot of the bad ones. I don't consider them the best years of my life, but they were important years.

I was talking to Dan Bonnette recently and ironically enough, he had done the exact same thing. He told me how he actually had gone through an old album and threw out nearly 300 pictures because nearly everyone in those pictures were people he no longer talked to. Not removed, but threw out. Trashed. Which was cool, but it got me thinking.

Now, anyone who knew me in high school knows I took a lot of pictures. Too many. I had been looking through my old personal albums as well. So many faces, so many people, many of whom I am still happily in touch with (to varying degrees). But there were also people who I have not been in touch with. Not through livejournal, facebook, email, IM, anything. Would it make sense to just trash those people and memories out of my life? How much of a difference would it make? Do any of those people even remember me? What's the point?

Freshmen year at Temple, Shenese Jones and I used to always joke about how we would plan our five-year high school reunion. We were tight with Mr. Arnold and figured we both had enough clout to make it happen (ha, me get people to go to a reunion. The mind reels...). It was something that at the time, sounded like it would be cool.

Now it's five years later and my thoughts could not be more the opposite. The idea of a five-year reunion not only feels unnecessary to me, but pointless. There are many, many reasons for this, but there are three major ones:

1) School: A lot of people have not even finished school yet, which makes it feel less like much has changed and still makes high school feel like an after thought rather than something to be remembered.

2) Maturity: Lots of us have matured since high school. But five years isn't often enough for everyone. Which means that odds are, the annoying, condescending, snobby, bitchy people in high school are probably still the same annoying, condescending, snobby, bitchy people they were five years before. Not something to look forward to revisiting.

Number 3 is my favorite.

3) "Didn't I See You Last Month?": What is the point of a reunion if you already see or keep in touch with (however loosely) everyone you want to? I'll admit there are people that I would not mind catching up with who I have not seen, but it's a small group (like maybe 3-4 people total). Everyone else, I have probably seen/spoken to/chatted with/messaged either in the past year or sooner.
-----

Another "honorable mention" reason I think would be the people that would more than likely make up the majority of the reunion (especially a five-year). I have this feeling that a lot of the people who would go (not everyone, but most) would also be the people who truly missed high school, which is also a crowd I'm not sure I would mesh with. And that's for the simple reason that I don't miss high school. I miss things about it, but not high school itself. I'll always keep the memories and people close, but I just don't miss that time in my life. I had a good time, but I've moved on to bigger and better things.

In spite of that however, I wouldn't throw away any of my pictures or anything, even if I didn't talk to the people in them anymore. To me, the memories are just too precious to toss away like they never happened, no matter how insignificant or unimportant they may seem. The fact that I don't talk to those people anymore isn't a mark against me or them. It doesn't mean we were never friends.

It was just a time we shared together and when we did, it was genuine.

But life goes on.

And that's all you need to know about my thoughts on High School. How about yours?

Stay Tuned...

Who should the next Bat-Villains be?
Joel
damngoodphil
As the hype for THE DARK KNIGHT continues to mount, I can't help but wonder what plans Chris Nolan has in store for the inevitable third BATMAN film (if he makes it, of course). The biggest question: Who will be the villain(s)?

I've talked about this with a lot of people over the past few months. Personally, I think the most logical villain to come next, based on Nolan's approach to the series, would be Edward Nygma, A.K.A. The Riddler. There are many reasons for this. The Riddler (when done right) is perhaps one of Batman's most intelligent and cunning villains. His backstory is credible, nothing about him is too outlandish or out of the ordinary, and (like Batman and all the villains up until this point in Nolan's series) he relies more on his wits than wacky powers. And if Nolan chooses him, I have no doubt he'd be able to pull it off flawlessly.

A close second would be Selina Kyle, A.K.A. Catwoman. Another villain with intelligence, class, and unlike all the others, boasts a unique relationship with Batman that could be easily exploited on film.

My suggestion would actually be to use BOTH villains, with the Riddler being the main villain and Catwoman being the side one (a la how they seem to be setting up the Joker and Two-Face in TDK). We know based on BB (and I am already convinced TDK boasts this as well) that Nolan can handle multiple villains. As long they don't get caught in some lame, wacky team-up endeavor (a la the earlier films' villains), I think they would make for a great movie.

I happened to stumble onto a poll asking just this question on Superherohype and wouldn't you know it - the Riddler is in first place, followed closely by Catwoman. Seems like a lot of the fans want them as well.

What about the other villains, you say? Well, Clayface, as great as his story is, is just too out there for the realism that Nolan is going for with the series. The same could be said for the Penguin, Killer Croc, and (sadly) Man-Bat and Mr. Freeze as well. There's the Mad Hatter, although his character would probably feel like more of a nuisance than a threat. Bane is a terrific villain, but there's not much to his backstory and that would probably take some tweaking. After that, there's Poison Ivy and Scarface/the Ventriloquist, the latter of which could be very good, although might appear silly on screen. That's not to say that they all can't be done, but maybe just not yet.

I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Sometimes, I think I have too much time on my hands.

Stay Tuned...

EW Top 100 Films 1983-2008: What the f*ck?
Joel
damngoodphil
Below is a recent listing of the top 100 films made in the last 25 years as assembled by Entertainment Weekly.

100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999) - Sure. Move it up some more.
99. The Blair Witch Project (1999) - Okay.
98. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) - Yes. And it needs to be higher. Much higher.
97. Glory (1989) - I haven't seen all of it, but I liked what I saw. Okay.
96. Far From Heaven (2002) - Yes. Higher.
95. In the Mood for Love (2001) - Never saw it.
94. Full Metal Jacket (1987) - Okay.
93. Ed Wood (1994) - HIGHER. HIGHER. HIGHER. Why is this 93?!
92. Menace II Society (1993) - Eh, okay.
91. Back to the Future (1985) - I'm not saying it should be in the top ten or anything, but 91? Ninety-One?! This needs to be moved up at least 50 slots. Ugh.
90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004) - Get. This. Off. Of. Here. Now.
89. Breaking the Waves (1996) - Never saw it.
88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) - Okay.
87. Swingers (1996) - Okay.
86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002) - Yes.
85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005) - Eh, okay. Lower, please.
84. Sideways (2004) - Yes.
83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987) - I like it, but it should not even be on this list.
82. Lost in Translation (2003) - Okay. Maybe a little higher.
81. Moonstruck (1987) - Um, alright.
80. Michael Clayton (2007) - Eh, I guess.
79. Waiting for Guffman (1996) - Nice, but not the right movie for this list (read: BEST IN SHOW).
78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) - No. The first one, yes. Not this one.
77. Sid and Nancy (1986) - Never saw it.
76. The Departed (2006) - Sure, why not?
75. Out of Africa (1985) - Okay.
74. Drugstore Cowboy (1989) - Never saw it.
73. Office Space (1999) - Nice.
72. Thelma & Louise (1991) - Higher.
71. Unforgiven (1992) - Okay.
70. Broadcast News (1987) - Never saw it.
69. All About My Mother (1999) - Never saw it.
68. Witness (1985) - Very nice.
67. Donnie Brasco (1997) - Lower, please. Much lower.
66. Natural Born Killers (1994) - See previous.
65. Dirty Dancing (1987) - Better than Back to the Future and Ed Wood? Yeah, right.
64. No Country For Old Men (2007) - Okay.
63. Big (1988) - Eh, lower.
62. Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989) - Okay.
61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984) Better than No Country for Old Men, eh? Someone please take this off of here.
60. Scream (1996) - No.
59. L.A. Confidential (1997) - H-I-G-H-E-R.
58. Ghostbusters (1984) - Okay, but should be a little higher.
57. There’s Something About Mary (1998) - Okay.
56. The Lives of Others (2006) - Never saw it.
55. Risky Business (1983) - So. This is on the list. Hm. I think it needs to go away. Yeah, away.
54. Fatal Attraction (1987) - Yes.
53. The Truman Show (1998) - Yes, definitely.
52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988) - Lower, lower, lower. Did I mention lower?
51. There Will Be Blood (2007) - Good.
50. The Piano (1993) - Never saw it.
49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) - Very nice.
48. Scarface (1983) - Lower, please.
47. Men in Black (1997) - STILL lower, please.
46. Children of Men (2006) - Very good.
45. Rain Man (1988) - Alright.
44. The Player (1992) - Never saw it.
43. Gladiator (2000) - Okay, but lower.
42. Clueless (1995) - Get it away. Seriously.
41. Dazed and Confused (1993) - Eh, no.
40. Speed (1994) - Okay.
39. The Sixth Sense (1999) - Very good. Too bad a lot of the ones above it don't deserve to be.
38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) - One of the few truly original films of the decade should be a little higher, I think.
37. Pretty Woman (1990) - UGH, no.
36. Spider-Man 2 (2004) - No.
35. The Incredibles (2004) - Yes!
34. Fargo (1996) - Very nice.
33. The Breakfast Club (1985) - Good.
32. Fight Club (1999) - Lower. Way lower.
31. Brokeback Mountain (2005) - Hmm, okay I guess. But still lower.
30. When Harry Met Sally... (1989) - Very good.
29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004) - No. No. No. No. No.
28. Wings of Desire (1988) - Never saw it.
27. Aliens (1986) - I'm tempted to say higher, but okay.
26. Hoop Dreams (1994) - Eh, lower.
25. Shrek (2001) - Cool.
24. A Room With a View (1986) - Never saw it.
23. Memento (2001) - Great. Maybe a little lower.
22. Rushmore (1998) - Okay, but also slightly lower.
21. Schindler's List (1993) - How this is not in the top ten astounds me.
20. The Lion King (1994) - Okay.
19. Casino Royale (2006) - Better than Schindler's List? Really?
18. Do the Right Thing (1989) - Waaaaaaay lower.
17. Jerry Maguire (1996) - Okay, but way lower.
16. Boogie Nights (1997) - Hmm, okay.
15. Edward Scissorhands (1990) - Yes, but not so high.
14. Crumb (1995) - Very interesting. Still not so high.
13. GoodFellas (1990) - Okay.
12. The Matrix (1999) - *sigh* Lower.
11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984) - Mm, okay.
10. Moulin Rouge (2001) - Okay, but a lot lower.
9. Die Hard (1988) - Excellent.
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - Nice.
7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) - Never saw it.
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998) - Good, but should switch places with Schindler's List.
5. Toy Story (1995) - Yes, but not so high.
4. Blue Velvet (1986) - Yes, but also not so high.
3. Titanic (1997) - This doesn't even belong in the top 40.
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03) - Yes, but a *little* lower.
1. Pulp Fiction (1994) - No. There are way better and more deserving movies on this list.

So.

I have a question.

Where are the following?: Forrest Gump, the Shawshank Redemption, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Se7en, Requiem for a Dream, The Princess Bride, Philadelphia, The Outsiders, The Nightmare Before Christmas, National Lampoon's Vacation, My Cousin Vinny, A Few Good Men, Mr. Holland's Opus, Love Actually, Meet the Parents, Interview with the Vampire, The Hours, A History of Violence, The Green Mile, Good Will Hunting, Good Night and Good Luck, The Fly, Field of Dreams, Clue, City Slickers, As Good As It Gets, Apollo 13, American History X, 28 Days Later, and...well you get the idea.

I'm sure films like Napoleon Dynamite, Pretty Woman, Scream, and Risky Business are better, but...oh wait, they're not.

This list makes me angry. Really angry.

Discuss.

Stay Tuned...

Movies in General...
Ed Wood
damngoodphil
I'm going to try as hard as I can to not make this sound like a rant.

The only movie that I am looking forward to for the rest of the summer (and maybe the year, so far) is THE DARK KNIGHT. There is literally nothing else coming that makes me even the least bit excited. And it's just...sad.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK could be okay, but the trailers have yet to convince me...THE HAPPENING is already being proclaimed as "Shyamalan hitting rock-bottom", so I'm not really looking forward to that...ZOHAN looks like nothing but a reminder as to why I can't watch Adam Sandler anymore...I can't tell if GET SMART will be good or goofy...WANTED looks like some crazy, Jerry Bruckheimer inspired action flick...and the only remotely interesting looking movie, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON - I still have no clue what to expect from seeing the trailer.

Have mainstream movies finally sunk so low that they can't even inspire excitement?

Hell, even GODZILLA (1998) at least excited people, even if the movie turned out to be garbage.

I was reading this quote from Joe Dante (director of GREMLINS, GREMLINS 2, THE 'BURBS, and more) and I think it truly sums up the state of movies today:

"Movies in general? Pitiful. I don’t go to studio movies. I mean, I’ll go to the occasional “Superman” movie or something like that just to see what’s up, but they don’t appeal to me. But look at my age group. They’re certainly not making any movies that appeal to my age group anyway. The idea of remaking pictures just to remake them because they think they’re titles that people think they remember is a dead-end, I think, creatively. Every picture goes through so many stages of people meddling in it that what comes out is like sausages out of a meat grinder. It would be very hard for a person like David Lynch to make “Blue Velvet” now for a studio, but even then he had to make it for Dino [De Laurentiis]. It’s not a great time for personal movies unless you’re making Indies. But now the studios own the Indies too. You wanna hark back to the 70’s or even the 80’s, when movies were very commercial, but there was still something smart going on. But now that the audience is so fragmented, that the way that pictures are advertised, the way they’re seen, the way they’re distributed has changed so much that these people who run the studios genuinely don’t know what’s going on. They’re scared. They’re all making less movies now. They’re spending more on the movies and on the selling of the movies."

--------------

People rant all the time that there are no more original ideas in Hollywood. I disagree. It's not the "lack" of ideas. It's the "lazy." Hollywood is lazy with ideas. Right now, there are hundreds of (probably) great scripts sitting on shelves in development offices all over L.A. with no hope of ever getting made.

Sure, there's tons of crappy scripts too, probably moreso, but these have a better chance at the end of the day of getting made for the above reasons. They feel less like a risk, or they hail from being based on a famous TV show, or they have some "star" like VIN DIESEL attached or some such nonsense.

Thoughts?

Stay Tuned...

Another Month...More Short Points!
Joel
damngoodphil
So to sum things up as of late...

--I have seen INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL and did not like it very much.

--The Temple L.A. Program is back and I am already loving it.

--I am no longer working at FremantleMedia and am now looking for a new job.

--My apartment is finally clean and my air conditioning works.

--I have lost almost all sense of routine as far as sleep and meals go.

--The John Williams score to INDY IV was equally disappointing.

--I have seen IRON MAN and liked it very much.

--I cannot fathom how certain people make it in this industry when they don't know how to treat people, be sociable, or lead.

--Applying for jobs is more of a pain in the ass than finding an apartment.

--I am certain THE DARK KNIGHT will be the Godfather of comic book movies.

--LOST is still the best show on TV.

--I really hope the SAG doesn't go on strike.

--Uwe Boll is quickly becoming one of the funniest men in Hollywood, unintentional or otherwise.

--I stay up way too late anymore.

--I miss a lot of my friends.

That's about it for now.

Stay Tuned...

Time is flying...
Joel
damngoodphil
Now that the trip home has happened and I pretty much have nothing going on until the L.A. program happens now, I have begun to finally go through and watch many of the DVDs that have been sitting around on the shelf lately; like one per night. However, none were any I hadn't seen before. I'm doing it strictly on instinct; whatever I am in the mood to watch, with some interesting results. I won't get into specifics, but I'll offer a thought on each one.

Monday: NETWORK: Flat-out brilliant and still (albeit depressingly) relevant. Phenomenal.

Tuesday: ABOUT SCHMIDT: Witty, touching and real. When I first saw it, I thought it was Alexander Payne's best movie; now I'm not so sure. Still features one of Jack Nicholson's most inspired performances in years.

Wednesday: SLEEPY HOLLOW: Not bad, but not as good as I remembered it. I love the new take and I love the acting and set design, but the movie just isn't scary.

Thursday: ARMY OF DARKNESS: I seriously need to watch this more; the fact that I am still unfamiliar with many of the Bruce Campbell one-liners is sad.

I also watched the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA pilot, which I was very impressed by. Hopefully I can catch up before the show is over.

The trip home was incredible, but that'll be for another time.

Stay Tuned...

Health? Huh?
Ed Wood
damngoodphil
I didn't think I could do it twice in a week, but I was so tired that I once again went to bed at 8:00 P.M. last night, waking up at 6:30 A.M. or so. I didn't have to rush this morning, got to run, eat breakfast, and even watch a rerun of ANGEL.

God, why can't every morning be this way?!

Almost back to the normal weight, although I think I'm gonna push to see if I can make it to 160. It's a healthy weight for my height, plus the diet/exercise is working so well now that I might as well milk it for all its worth. I just can't wait to get off it.

Lent hasn't been helping either. I've given up so many snacks that I've pretty much resorted to nothing but almonds and yogurt. Healthy yes, but boring after a good, I don't know, MONTH.

Work has been busy, but smooth this week. I'm finally beginning to get the hang of all the responsibilities, but it's a lot to keep track of and very easy to get lost in. If I can just keep starting off the day like I did today, it would make a huge difference. Hopefully.

The SUPERMAN BLUE BOX is extraordinary. There's only 3000 available, so if you want it and haven't gotten it yet, hurry your ass up! ;-)

Home in two weeks and counting...

Stay Tuned...

I Own This Now...
Joel
damngoodphil


Phil Obaza: Relishing in his own geekdom, since 1984.

Stay Tuned...

Gearing up...
Fire Trails!
damngoodphil
So in case you haven't noticed over the past few entries, I've been on a Ray Charles kick lately. Today, Zack even sent me an acoustic version of "Georgia on my Mind" (my favorite at the moment). It's really good, and I can't believe it's taken me this long to rediscover the man.

I just got this $50 gift card from work for completing my health assessment survey. I haven't decided what to spend it on just yet; maybe a TV for my room or something decorative.

This weekend completely flew by. 80% of this was due to oversleeping. But it's crazy; I actually tried writing today for the first time in a while and I swear, the hours ticked by like minutes. It's like I have no concept of time when I'm off from work for some reason. Guess that's what happens when you do something you love.

Talked to some old Temple friends online too; it felt really good. One nice thing about finally having more time is the ability to actually keep in touch with people. I know a lot haven't gotten back to me and I understand. When I was in school, unless you were there, you really didn't hear from me ever, so it's no surprise that only a handful of folks still there are able to respond. I hope they're doing well.

Here's to getting to sleep at a decent hour.

Stay Tuned...

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