For the past few weeks I have noticed a certain similarity in my movie and television choices. For some reason in almost everything I have watched, the actor Jared Leto has popped up. This probably is not that noteworthy, I like Jared Leto, he is a good actor and some of the movies he appeared in are my favorites.
I did notice one thing with these films and with a little research, I saw the trend continued. Filmmakers want Jared Leto to suffer a turrrrible fate as often as possible. It seems like in everything appears in he is treated like the human punching bag, maybe he just has a punchable face, maybe he seeks out roles with the requirement of things do not end well for him. Whatever the reason may be, it is now time to look back in a feature I like to call: “Jared Leto Does Not Get Treated Well In Movies.”
********Caution: Obvious Spoilers********
“Fight Club” (1999)
Edward Norton releases a furry of fists on Jared Leto’s character Angel Face’s face. Later in the film he goes through some pretty intense psychological trauma.
“American Psycho” (2000)
Caution: Do not watch this if you are a child, or squeamish
“Requiem For a Dream” (2000)
You only need to watch the first minute to see his horrible fate. Turn it off then or suffer a depression.
“Lord of War” (2005)
In case there was any doubt that the first machine gun did not kill him, the second one did a pretty decent job, and then there was that third one.
“Chapter 27” (2007)
So I have to admit that I have not actually seen this movie but I do know that the character he is portraying is not exactly healthy and functional.
Wow he has been destroyed so many times. One of the only real victories I have ever seen his character have is getting Angela Chase in the television series “My So Called Life,” but even then his character Jordan Catalano was illiterate and I found Angela (Claire Danes) to be obnoxious anyway.
So who are some other actors you can think of that have continually suffered horrible fates?
On Feb. 19, I attended night two of the Young Professionals event “The Big Dam Film Festival.” The film festival was held at The State Room, and it was fantastic. The selections that evening were a variety of short films. There was a little bit of everything in the featured shorts, from dramatic to comedic, the night was very entertaining. My personal favorite of the evening was called “Afghan,” by Pardis Parker. The quick wit and creativity of the main characters kept the audience laughing but all the while “Afghan,” took an honest look at racism and xenophobia, and the harm it can cause.
In the end the majority of the crowd agreed with my selection because “Afghan,” won the People’s Choice Award. The career of Pardis Parker is moving quickly with many new projects in the works, but the self described performer and creator took some time to answer a few questions about his career thus far.
How would you describe your career?
A series of baby steps.
What kind of background do you have with film-making?
None. Afghan was the first film I ever made and I learned about filmmaking while making the film.
Where do you draw your influences for your work?
I honestly don’t know. I watch everything Hollywood puts out. Certainly there are filmmakers that I admire more than others — Aronofsky, Mendes, Nolan, Boyle. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good Michael Bay film.
What in your life made you want to make films? At what point did you realize performing, writing, and film- making was your calling?
I’ve wanted to make films since probably junior high, but culturally it was something that was discouraged until I dove in and made something on my own that actually found a little success. That sort of opened the door for me to escape the criticism I would have been receiving otherwise.
“Afghan” was recently selected as the People’s Choice at the Big Dam Film Festival, among numerous other awards at different festivals. What do you think makes it so appealing; what do you attribute to its success?
I don’t know. My suspicion is that most people find it appealing simply because it’s an honest film. I don’t know. You tell me.
What projects do you have on the horizon?
I’ve got this Bollywood short that I’m shooting for Bravo and a romantic comedy with no dialogue that I’m shooting for CBC, plus I’ve got an animated TV series that I’m developing with a production company in LA and a feature comedy that I’m pitching around. Busy busy.
Please finish this sentence: If I was not creating and performing I would be-
Depressed and frustrated that I couldn’t find happiness or meaning in whatever else I was doing.
a. Acidic: Lemon
b. Renegade: Lorenzo Lamas
c. Yack: Yak
d. Pious: Priest
e. Scallops: White
f. Minuet: French
What are your five desert island films?
That’s tough. It’s always changing. “Cast Away,” “The Matrix,” “The Assassination of Jesse James” by the Coward Robert Ford, “There Will Be Blood,” and “Michael Clayton.” That’s a good start.
You are handed a phone and get to call your 16-year-old self. You get 15 seconds on the line, what do you say? GO!
Do what you want to do.
To find out more about Pardis, or watch more of his videos visit www.pardisparker.com.
The other day I was watching Noah Baumbach’s movie titled “Kicking and Screaming,” (not the Will Ferrell Soccer thing) and there was a scene in the movie where the friends were all in a bar arguing over the titles of all of the “Friday the 13th” movies.
It blew my mind for a second as I wondered why they did not just look it up on someone’s smart phone. Then I realized this was 1995. It is so weird to me that there was a time when trivia arguments at the bar could not be settled by a quick cell phone internet search. I have seen those large phones Zach Morris owns, despite the comically huge stature there is not so much as a Google Search bar on them. What were the other options; have the answer paged to you? That is not how a pager works is it? Did people just agree to disagree, write the question down, research it later then rub the answer in their friends face the next day? Not for me. I need to instantly rub in the correct answer of which actor played Grand Moff Tarkin in “Star Wars IV.” (Peter Cushing)[*Writer’s note to men: knowledge of “Star Wars” cannot help you get women, in fact it most likely can hurt any small chance you might have had.
What I am getting at is that thanks to new technology we are living in an age of instant gratification. Any information we would like is right at our fingertips, it is nearly impossible to not get contacted by someone that wants to contact you. My phone was broken for a week last year and it was difficult at first but I soon grew to like not being available to everyone at anytime. When someone says “hey why didn’t you text me back,” instead of having to act all confused and be like “oh dumb phone, I do not know if I got that message.” I could just tell them I have no phone.
So information is everywhere and more accessible than ever before. There are even text message answering services for those without internet on their phone. A popular free text message answering service is called Cha Cha. To use Cha Cha simply text any question to the number 242242. Usually within minutes you will receive an advertisement, then the answer; many times it’s correct sometimes it comes out of left field…but you get what you paid for.
I had just watched “The Social Network,” and felt like a loser if I was not using the internet to make money so I looked into working for the question answering service known as Cha Cha. I had heard that Cha Cha pays anyone with an internet connection to sit at their computer anytime they are available and answer the incoming questions. Becoming a Cha Cha question answerer or as we call in the biz an “expeditor” turned out to be a longer process than clicking: Start.
You begin the process by visiting http://becomeaguide.chacha.com/. From there you can begin the tutorial. There are several training videos you have to watch each ranging from 8 minutes to 26 minutes. At the end of each video you have to pass a test about that video (to prove that you were not playing Angry Birds during the videos, as I was). The videos show you the quickest way to answer the incoming texts using cha cha’s interactive search site. They have it set up to be able to directly search the web, search frequently asked questions, or type in your own answer. After going through all of the training videos that cover every single aspect of the process, you have to take the final test, which is answering 10 incoming texts. It is nerve racking at first, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes quite easy.
I took the test and what was supposed to be four to six days, became a month later, Cha Cha contacted me saying congratulations you are a Cha Cha expeditor. So I began my conquest earning .02 cents a question. It is nice because you can get on anytime you would like and just start answering questions while watching television. Sometimes there are really interesting questions and you learn a new fact. Sometimes the question is “Hey if you are a girl, will you give me your number.” Either way every answer is .02 cents added to the account that I can eventually cash in. So far in a week after going about 30-45 minutes a day I am up to $7.00. I know that does not seem like a lot but it is money earned while I watch TV. Right now, I figure if I can earn a dollar a day from this, eventually in 4.17 years I will have enough to buy my $1,500 dream from Ebay; The “Baywatch” Pinball machine.
So if you are interested in purchasing a “Baywatch” Pinball machine in 4.17 years join me as a guide on Cha Cha. Or just get a real job — lame.
I love all aspects of going to the movies, I love Quincy’s almost empty five dollar matinee’s, putting too much artificial butter on my popcorn and hoping the salty deliciousness can distract me from the fact that the popcorn was part of a $12 “value pack.”
I love the smell and the anticipation of a good movie and pretty much am just a fan of all aspects of visiting the movie theater. I even thoroughly enjoy previews. They give me something to look forward to and help fill the void in my sad empty life — just kidding — some days are better than others, ah cripes.
The previews are a great time to pass judgment on a two hour film based on a two minute clip. Sometimes this judgment is warranted because the trailer shows every aspect of the movie and sometimes Matthew McConaughey says something within five seconds of the preview and I cannot stop laughing.
So I would now like to present to you:
Jacob McGuire’s Movie Reviews Based on the Trailer or Preconceived Thoughts About an Actor 2011 Edition
The Lincoln Lawyer: This looks, umm pretty intense. It is probably going to keep you on the edge of your seat. I have yet to be disappointed in William H. Macy and Ryan Phillippe was pretty awesome in Breach. For serious though, I cannot take Matthew McConaughey serious. I crack up every time I see him on screen, between his gestures and his laid back drawl. From the looks of this movie a lot is at stake but to me every line he delivers might as well be about high school girls staying the same age. Can you practice law with your shirt off? I feel like McConaughey is going to do his best to try that in this movie.
The Roommate: So everything starts out all pleasant right, two roommates meet in the dorm and bond over their desire for pancakes and affinity for kittens, life’s good then, BOOM! The roommate is an obsessed psycho. The same thing happened to me during my first year of college, except my roommate was not as hot — just Kidding Ben. Watching this, I cannot help but point out that the RA on that floor is doing a terrible job. Seriously though, this movie already shows the killer — the roommate — we know her motive, which is people are getting near her roommate and we know her target, which is anyone who gets near her roommate. But what do I know, I only saw the trailer.
Big Momma’s House Like Father Like Son: You asked for it and you got it! Wait, you did not ask for it? Nobody asked for it? In fact you explicitly requested for it not to happen? Well too bad, because Martin Lawrence is back for a third installment as the FBI agent gone undercover as Big Momma. This time it appears that he is with his son and get this: The son is doing the same thing. With the addition of his son and the movie taking place at a college, the gags are sure to be wackier, the hijinks are sure to be hijinkier, and the fun is sure to be more so than your average Big Momma film.
Drive Angry 3D: Hahahahah, below is the way the conversation went between Nicholas Cage and the producer:
Cage: Let me see the script.
Movie Producer: There isn’t one but it’s in 3-D, and you get to drive a sweet car, it can help pay off your tax debt.
Cage: I’m in.
That, my friends, is this guys uneducated, biased look at a few movies coming up in 2011.
We are living in a golden age my friends, a golden age. I am of course referring to being in the midst of Christopher Nolan’s third Batman installment: The Dark Knight Rises. It might seem lame to be so excited about a movie that’s not being released until July 2012, but as lifetime Batman fan it is hard not to think about. Can you blame me? Christopher Nolan has gotten us past the dark days of Joel Schumacher’s freaky Batman nipples, and non-stop puns of the 90’s and created the best adaptation in my opinion since Batman: The Animated Series. Following the pure awesomeness that was The Dark Knight, the internet is overloaded with fanboys spewing their speculations and concerns about casting and possible plots for The Dark Knight Rises. Well here at the Local Q….we’re going to do the same thing. I have recruited two friends and usual Batman conversationalists to help give their ideas for possible villains for TDKR. Tanner Jacobs is an all around comic book expert, while Michael Thompson is a bit of a smart-aleck that enjoys Andy Kaufman-esque stunts.
Dear Mr. Nolan,
One thing that I would like to see in TDKR, despite numerous reports that it isn’t going to happen is the return of Two Face. I feel like the fall he suffered was a survivable. It would be perfectly reasonable to say that Commissioner Gordon and the Gotham PD decided to cover up Harvey Dent turning to the dark side in order to maintain hope in Gotham City. There is still so much story that could be written from Two Faces turn to a life of crime. Of course, he had better take care of that burn shortly or will most likely die from an infection, then where would we be?I believe that it would be awesome if the main villain was Black Mask. Tom Hardy has already been added to the cast and I believe he would make a fine criminal strategist. They could follow along the story line of Black Mask, a ruthless thug who murdered his parents, and growing up, was forced to be friends with Bruce Wayne. Black Mask has a talent for building an empire through terrorizing, coercion, corruption and brute force. His lack of super powers makes him fit in perfectly with Nolan’s world. I believe that Black Mask and his loyal followers The False Face Society would really put Batman to the test.
One thing that I am fairly confident will be a large point of the movie is Batman learning to assist Gotham City despite being viewed in a negative light…thus The Dark Knight will Rise… get it? Anyway, I cannot wait.
Tanner Jacobs Input:
Dear Christopher Nolan,
As a comic book aficionado, a.k.a a comic book nerd, I have a few suggestions for the next Batman movie. The obvious villains in the new movie, the tried and true, well known, Batman villains: Poison Ivy, Riddler, Penguin, even Mr. Freeze, are overplayed. I do not believe Two Face needs brought back…yet. Instead I believe there are two completely different and I believe underrated villains in the Batman comics which would both present a powerful problem to the Dark Knight, as well as create an interesting tie in to a sequel.
The first is one that many people are likely to throw out…Black Mask. Black Mask is by far and away one of the largest thorns in Batman’s splintered side in recent years. His ability to control large groups of people in an organization much like the Falcone’s makes him a legitimate boss. However, it is his hatred for both Bruce and Batman that make him a formidable foe. Black Mask gives you several other outlets to pursue as well in which you could make use of some of the lesser villains. For example, Firefly, Zsasz (aka Mr. Zsasz), or even Deadshot. It would be more enjoyable to see him use all of them. This would not only put a strain on Batman but on the city of Gotham, which in turn would deal a significant blow to Bruce Wayne the man.
I’ve mentioned two and two I shall provide. There can only be one word, which describes this man. A man more calculated than Two Face and dare I say more disturbed than Joker. A word that even Batman would have to face at an emotional level: HUSH. Hush the long time friend of Batman, Dr. Thomas Elliot. A man so psychotic he hates Bruce Wayne, not because he is rich or because he is Batman but because it was Bruce’s father which allowed his mother to live when he was younger. A man who actually tried killed his own mother and did kill his own father at a young age, and a man who almost gets the best of Batman by pulling at the heart strings of Gotham’s greatest hero.
I realize these are not as unknown as say a Blockbuster or a Calendar Man, also interesting choices in their own right, but these two villains are simply people. People who don’t need super powers to instill fear, but much like Batman himself, people who simply need their cunning and life experiences. I believe these two do incredibly different things and possibly lead in several different directions. They open up parts of the city we rarely see in the movies. Parts of Gotham that even Batman is afraid to delve into. Not to mention that by using both of them we can see more of the Detective that Batman is meant to be. Instead of simply being a pair of fists and a batarang or two, possibly the most underutilized weapon within TV and movies, is Batman’s mind. Allow him a Sherlock Holmes moment or two, and you will not be disappointed in the result. Thank you for your consideration.
That one comics nerd,
Mike Thompson Input:
Dear Mr. Nolan,
As the only curmudgeon in this motley crew, it occurred to me that Christopher Nolan has been presented with the opportunity of a lifetime: to orchestrate the single greatest act of cold hearted torture in the history of cinema. And why not, barring Heath Ledger’s resurrection or Christian Bale kicking the bucket, Dark Knight Rises cannot garner as much hype as its predecessor. Nor can it earn as much money or satisfy the rabid Batman fan boys, so with the deck clearly stacked against him, Christopher Nolan should not even attempt to outdo Dark Knight. It’s a lose-lose situation. Look what happened to George Lucas. He tried to reinvent Star Wars with the new trilogy which, despite being wildly successful, still managed to piss off legions of uber geeks across the galaxy while laying three of the biggest turds ever committed to film. But, Nolan has greater artistic integrity than the greedy and soulless Lucas. That is why he should intentionally devise one of the biggest pranks ever by turning Dark Knight Rises into a complete and utter farce. Here are a few ideas to get the rewrites rolling.
First, Nolan should team up with the moral compass of our generation and raging narcissist Tyler Perry. What would be better than having the opening credits appear and seeing Tyler Perry’s Dark Knight Rises flash across the screen? Instantly, images of a mad black woman moving the bat mobile with a forklift because the caped crusader double parked it spring to mind, but it’s Nolan’s call if he wants to get Madea involved.
As far as casting goes, obviously Bale needs to play Batman, though if he continues to deliver dialogue while sounding constipated, I might reconsider. But to spice things up, I think it is time Batman’s faithful sidekick Robin gets reintroduced to the series and who better to play Robin than Judy Garland’s former brainy beau Mickey Rooney. The antiquated Rooney could really increase the film’s appeal to the nursing home demographic in a way that Michael Caine has not yet been able too. Also, the sale of prunes and Metamucil tablets at the snack stand would probably sky rocket, and that is good news for everybody.
No superhero movie would be complete without a killer set of villains to stand in the protagonist’s way. Where Dark Knight had two super villains, I think Dark Knight Rises should up the ante and use three. According to imdb.com, the first two have already been cast, but their roles have not been specified, so I’ll try and point Christopher Nolan in the right direction.
Inception alum Joseph Gordon-Levitt is perfectly suited to play Catwoman. After seeing how well he wore finally tailored clothing in the 2010 summer blockbuster, a form fitting leather jumpsuit would be ideal for his turn as Batman’s feline nemesis. Throw in his catlike features and you’ve got yourself a stew going.
The second villain comes from outside the traditional Batman canon, but it is a no brainer for the new tone of Dark Knight Rises. Tom Hardy, a fellow cast member of Gordon-Levitt’s on Inception, would be ideal to play Batman’s newest enemy: The Music Man. As Hardy leads his diabolical 76 trombones on a rampage through the streets of Gotham, Nolan will be able to squeeze in a few musical numbers from CATS for Gordon-Levitt and allow Bale the chance to ponder the existential meaning of Batman’s existence to a revamped soundtrack by Creed.
Finally, Nolan should cast Rosanne Barr as the Penguin. While pretty similar to Danny Devito, aside from the obvious differences in plumbing, Barr’s acting chops are second to none and she provides another villain in Bale’s weight class. And if anyone doubts Barr’s singing ability, check her out on YouTube singing the national anthem back in 1990.
It is tempting to lay out the rest of the Dark Knight Rises screenplay, but I don’t think the allotted space is ample enough to do it justice. But, if I could summarize the overall theme in a work it would be execrable.
– Mike Thompson (A real jokester)
I am not the biggest horror movie fan. I am not sure why but I have never been that interested in the whole genre. I do, however, enjoy a few horror flicks around Halloween time. So far this Halloween season, I have watched a few of the classics, “Friday The 13th,” “Halloween,” and “28 Days Later,” which might be one of my favorite movies now.
I have also been exposed to two movies that I do not think could qualify for “classic” status. One of these films I would strongly recommend avoiding at all cost. The other film could possibly be the greatest cinematic achievement ever created by a guy with 50 bucks and the refusal to give up his dream.
AVOID- (or see it, what do I know) “The Human Centipede”: Tagline “Their Flesh is His Fantasy,” yep. Basically, the plot of this movie is that two American girls are on a trip through Germany. Their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere on their way to a club. Oh no! Never mind it is okay they make their way to a house with a mysterious older gentleman, hurray everything is fine, wrong, the gentlemen is a mad doctor with a dream. Some doctors want to find a cure for cancer; this doctor’s lifelong aspiration is stitching three people together to form a human centipede. Luckily he acquired a very fiery Japanese man sometime before. For the complete logistics of the constructing such a creature, umm Google it, but you will probably be put on some sort of list.
I am pretty desensitized, I recently saw “Jackass 3-D” and was not nearly as grossed out as I should have been, but this whole centipede idea makes me feel sick. So sick, that during the surgery scenes I looked at pictures of dogs dressed as lobsters on the internet http://www.funnyordie.com/stories/eee22b60aa/dogs-dressed-as-lobsters.
Usually in horror movies I can accept the terrible decisions made by the victims, but in “The Human Centipede” the “horror logic” was just too much. Terrible hiding places, standing still at times to run away, and the worst placed monologue I have ever witnessed, made the movie unbearable. I do not really feel like the victims wanted to get away all that badly. When the movie was not showing the disturbing human centipede, the scenes were slow paced and boring. The tension building scenes made me sleepy. Altogether it was a terrible movie watching experience; I will probably skip out on “The Human Centipede 2” coming in 2011.
RENT THIS NOW: “Bloodz vs. Wolvez,” tagline, “Only the Survivor Will See The Daylight.” I will let IMDB give the Plot — “A turf war is started by two rival supernatural gangs, ‘The Bloodz,’ which are vampires and the ‘Wolvez,’ which are werewolves.”
Every once in a while a film will come along that will change your life. Never before has the duality of man been brought to life in this allegory featuring the plight of the urban werewolf, just kidding, actually Family Video has a buy one get one free deal and from one look at the poorly scanned cover I could not pass this up. The plot is ridiculous, the dialogue is hysterical and the acting makes Paris Hilton look like Meryl Streep.
There are random scenes thrown in for no reason than the editor must have gotten bored. There are two sets in the whole movie, one being the conference room in a hotel; they must have rented for a few hours. They are so lazy with the sets that they just move a chair around to show that you are in a different place. I strongly recommend this movie, but only with a large group of friends that have a good sense of humor. Seeing this alone — I do not think I would have lasted five minutes.
Have a happy Halloween!
It’s bright and sunny; the day is beautiful. I should be out enjoying it. I do enjoy the great outdoors; I do have fun; I even am supposed to be writing a blog about it. However my outdoor adventures have come to a screeching halt thanks to a man named Christopher Nolan, a director of moving pictures.
The other day — after months of anticipation — I went to see Inception and Sweet Marie, was it a glorious experience. It had great performances, action and a twisting plot complete with a dream within a dream within a dream … I lost count. About halfway through Inception, the large soda hit I was faced with the choice of just suffering through the pain or becoming lost in the compelling storyline. I chose to endure; hopefully it will build character or something positive rather than just stretch my bladder out leading to a UTI or one day maybe even incontinence as WebMD suggests.
The entire way home, the remainder of the evening, and next few days were completely devoted to discussing the movie, trying to answer questions and debating if Leo finally topped his Growing Pains performance. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjVYwaTRJI0)
It was pretty clear what had happened, my friends and I had developed “Ruptured Colon Nolan” (it’s like Bieber Fever but less socially taboo). The evenings after work following the Inception experience were filled with nothing but viewings of Nolan’s previous work. The first night was Memento — guy loses his short term memory, aspires to avenge his murdered wife, you know, the usual. The non-linear storyline is seen by some as a cheap trick to make the movie more interesting, I think it works brilliantly to show the tricks memory can play on all of us. Next up was the Prestige, followed by Insomnia, at this point my brain was slightly withering due to the mystery thrillers filled with plot twists, but I press on.
It was time to get to what made me love Nolan’s work in the first place. Batman Begins, and the Dark Knight. Batman is something I have aspired to be since I was a little kid. I do however have a few shortcomings. I am not a billionaire; I have no parents to avenge; and the word portly often comes up when describing my physical features. With these less than Batman worthy attributes, Nolan’s Batman films are the next best thing. The fight scenes are great, excellent pacing, and best of all no bat nipples like Joel Shumaker tried to pull on 1997’s “Batman and Robin” One you get past Christian Bale’s Batman sounding like he has been smoking for 60 years, the movies are incredible.
After viewing all of the Nolan movies, I was spent. I had a hard time focusing on other things, I wasn’t quite sure my legs worked anymore. I felt like Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when he tried to stand up after being in bed for some crazy amount of years. I opened a curtain and the sun started burning my pasty skin. The Nolan marathon was fun and the movies are great, but I recommend spreading them out over a few weeks span for the sake of your health.