Category: Inspirations


On the off chance you haven’t seen this yet…

I’ve followed Matthew for years on the Twitter so I remember when he had his Kickstarter for this. Wasn’t in a place to give like that but liked the idea.

Missed seeing it on the big screen as well, but now that it’s online…

My, my, my! Like a lot of others, I’m so impressed with everything about this short.

Under 10 minutes, limited dialogue, nice little ‘twist’ in the last act.

All the Chef Kisses for this!

Enjoy!

No movie review to start this week but here’s a video from Vanity Fair interviewing ‘The New Hollywood Guard’ of writers trying to expand the narratives you see.

You may see a very familiar face among those interviewed.

Enjoy!

https://video.vanityfair.com/watch/the-new-hollywood-guard-writers/

Got to see this on the big screen last night. If this is presumably the last time we see these four (Marty, Pacino, DeNiro and Pesci) go into this genre that they didn’t invent but essentially defined, they’ve left us on a very pleasing note.

I have a vague memories as a kid of hearing the name Jimmy Hoffa with the immediate followup being he’s buried under Shea Stadium or something to that effect, so I knew it was a mob story. ‘The Irishman’ is the tale of the man who claims to have killed him (DeNiro), the mob bosses who protected him (Pesci) and the close relationship he built with Hoffa (Pacino) before he whacked him.

First, the effects. The first time they use it, the Uncanny Valley thing is there, but at least for me, there were only a couple of other times over the three and a half hours where I really noticed it. Most of the time it really looked like wigs and makeup (which might not be great for the makeup departments across town, but that’s another story).

Is Marty retiring? Cause I really felt like he brought back every bit player from his classic gangster flicks to fill out the bit parts here. Not even getting into Ray Ramano, Harvey Keitel, and seemingly 80 percent of the working New York actors who would fit into this world. This isn’t ‘Goodfellas’ or ‘Casino’ but in some ways it feels like the definitive Scorsese picture.

Which brings us back to the main guys. It’s a three and a half hour movie yes, but that translates into really living in the relationships between Pesci, Pacino, and DeNiro’s characters. Pacino’s Oscar is for ‘Scent of a Woman’, Scorsese finally won for ‘the Departed’, yeah… next year history might market correct and give them wins for a superior film. Not even counting Bob. Nominations feel like locks right now.

Definitely worth making time for when it starts streaming in a couple weeks.

‘Joker’

Been a little busy as you may have heard, so just now seeing this. I’ve heard every reaction, positive and negative to this film, and in a way, I think everyone is right.

My thoughts:

First, what I liked. Joaquin is definitely different (enough) to me than what everyone else has done. So that’s a win. I don’t know how much I buy the laugh as a disability, but I did like the mental illness angle to a point. The fears of creating a new real life madman (any more than anything else) may have been a bit overblown, but watching this did make me think of ‘Fight Club’ in a good way. (I’m a fan of that movie and didn’t think this one was on that level but same ‘angry loner’ vibe.) The nods and twists to the Batman mythology we all know I really liked. Won’t spoil them here for my friends who haven’t seen it yet but I definitely liked how they took advantage of the lack of an established Joker origin. And Bob. DeNiro playing off one of his old iconic roles was a nice touch that didn’t feel overly forced to me.

On the flip side, I don’t feel like I saw a great film because it never fully committed to any of the points it was making. When I was ready to go all in on the mental health angle we had to spend time with Thomas Wayne. When we were digging deeper into the Thomas Wayne angle it became about his dream of being a stand up comedian. All interesting plots that mostly come together. Maybe too many stories?

Joaquin will probably be one of the five when nominations start rolling around. His performance wasn’t the problem. We’ll find out sooner as opposed to later.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 07: (L-R) Vishnu Vallabhaneni, Lena Waithe and Malik Aziz attend the AT&T Filmmaker Mentorship Program Premiere at NeueHouse Los Angeles on November 07, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AT&T Filmmaker Mentorship Program)

‘1 Out of 30’

Written by Malik Aziz

Directed by Vishnu Vallabhaneni

Produced by Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani

An AT&T Hello Lab Short Film

Enjoy.

Saying ‘Eddie Murphy is back’ is a little insulting, but I think it’s fair to say ‘Dolemite Is My Name’ definitely leans as far into R rated Eddie Murphy as we’ve seen in a long time.

Based on the come up of Rudy Ray Moore, ‘Dolemite is My Name’ on paper feels like a traditional ‘A Star is Born’ rags to riches story. But how many movies have you really seen that takes you into the chitlin circuit (the stand up road tour for black stand up comics)? How many movies have this cast list: Eddie, Chris Rock, Snoop Dogg, Titus Burgess, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, and Wesley Snipes just off the top of my head? What about the meta irony of ‘I know there’s an audience for my movie but I don’t know how to get it to them? (wayyyyyyy before Netflix was a thing). This is a fun time capsule movie for that reason alone.

As long as you know what you’re getting into (the language and themes), definitely worth seeing. ESPECIALLY if you kind of know what you’re getting into.

Recommend.

So, for those who missed the post yesterday or just want to see it on its own, here’s the trailer for ‘1 Out of 30’, the short I wrote for the AT&T Hello Lab Mentorship Program.

Trailers can overhype or oversell the wrong things to pull you in, but bias aside, this one is pretty accurate in teasing what’s coming to you in a couple of weeks.

Enjoy!

Two weeks from now, ‘1/30’ goes live to the world.

Here’s a roundtable that got the class back together to introduce you all to the trailers for each of the short films.

Part of a special group, have a special mentor, in a special moment.

Enjoy!

Episode 7 of the behind the scenes making of the AT&T shorts takes you to the set of ‘Postmarked’. Angela wrote a beautiful story and Malakai is a committed director and if you watch film and television at all you’ll probably recognize an actor or two who appear in this short.

Enjoy!

New episode of the behind the scenes of the AT&T shorts.

You know Lena, you know Ava, most of you don’t know Shooter yet…

She’s a sweetheart, she’s genuine, and of course very talented.

Episode 6…