The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, May 17, 2010

Watch Out for MegaPiranha!

I believe that Blair did his first television interview yesterday, so it's time to start monitoring the Amazon numbers on FROM CAPE TOWN WITH LOVE. Arrgh. Ah, the tension.
So another actress has come forward saying Roman Polanski raped her when she was 16 years old. This is one of the reasons it matters not a damn what the first girl says now about wanting the charges dropped. The only reason he didn't spend his time in jail is that he had the money and celebrity to flee. There are people doing far more time for less because they didn't have the cultural or financial resources. For him to sit in his chalet and manipulate the media into feeling sorry for the poor, persecuted multi-millionaire is just beyond sick. I understand "The Ghost Writer" is a terrific movie, and I look forward to seeing it. I also hope they drag him out of Switzerland and put him in the cell next to Phil Spector.
How many of you know what the next specific phase of your life would be? The next level of integration or accomplishment? If you know this, your goals become far easier to define, and defined goals with measured steps toward their accomplishment are EXACTLY what you need.
Mine? To completely replace my writing income, so that I can write just for the fun of it. To accomplish this, there is a huge list of skills I need to acquire, relating to the internet. I've noticed that the better I get at this, the more offers I get for my writing. Damn, that is irritating. Or fun. Not sure which. Anyone else noticed this?
My Ipad is really close to being a work machine. I've come up with a way to deal with the fact that there is no direct way to just move files on and off with real elegance. You have to email files to yourself, or upload to "Iworks." Someone needs to create a website where you can email files and they will forward your files to, say, Dropbox. There is some kind of mail utility to facilitate this, but it doesn't seem to work with Mac quite right. That's all right...I'm sure that there will be a dozen solutions within six weeks. We'll see.
All right. Bad Movie Alert. I took out a film called "MegaPiranha" because I was in the mood for an old-fashioned rotten Big Monster Movie. And boy, did I get my wish: cheesy effects, ludicrous plot, and actors who seemed as if Thesping caused them physical pain. But by the time you get to the end of this Thanksgiving bird, you'll be laughing with disbelief, watching Piranhas the size of tractor trailers leaping out of the water, biting buildings and EXPLODING. I kid you not. I was wiping tears of joy out of my eyes. Now THAT is a bad movie. Jo Bob says "check it out." '
p.s.--got a favorite giant monster bad movie?
Anyone catch Betty White on SNL? I rewatched it last night, and thought that this was one of the all-time classic episodes. I have NEVER seen SNL with their heart so on their sleeves. They LOVED Betty White. And the outpouring of affection was just infectious. What a terrific lady she must be!


bud said...

I haven't seen any "so bad they're good" movies recently, but I wound up sitting partway through "Tooth Fairy" at a friend's house the other day. Is it too much to ask screenwriters to understand at least a little bit about what they are depicting? There's a scene where the screenwriter implies that Dwayne's character, in a hockey game, failed to protect another player. HOCKEY IS NOT FOOTBALL, and "blocking" for the guy with the puck is a penalty, specifically, "interference". Took me completely out of the experience.

And, COMPLETELY off-topic, have you read the City Journal article by Benjamin Plotinsky?

I'd like your thoughts about his comments on the "black angel" archetype in recent movies, and how it differs from your own views.

Anonymous said...
have you tried apple's mobileme with its online harddrive?

eric said...

'Spawn of the Slithis' is my all time favorite bad monster suit movie. Warning, this movie is very very bad. Not good-bad: Just plain bad. 'Manos: Hands of Fate' is 'Citizen Kane' compared to this movie, I cannot describe how bad this film is--I have no words to express it. It must be experienced to be appreciated. I love this movie the way a mountaineer loves Everest--it causes much discomfort and is even deadly, but its conquest is a proud achievement.

My favorite good giant monster film is 'Cloverfield'--a well made cross between Godzilla and 9/11. You know a film is good when the death of a character _hurts._

Steve Perry said...

Plan 9 From Outer Space ...

Nancy Lebovitz said...

"Speed" wasn't a bad movie, but I remember seeing that bus directed into an airport, and thinking that if God is good, then an airplane was going to blow up.... God was good.

Dan Moran said...

Called "Virus" on IMDB, but it was called zombie something or other when I saw it in the theater. It is the most amazing piece of comedy I've ever see. Monty Python never made me laugh so hard.

1, it's a zombie movie interspliced with National Geographic footage. A lot of National Geographic footage.

2, the zombies are the worst zombies in the history of movies. They look peckish, mostly, except for one righteous little boy zombie -- I'm talking six, seven -- who attacks a party of Our Heroes ... and they take turns shooting him and knocking him down and he keeps getting up again and jumping on them while they shriek in terror.

3, the effects work would put bad 50s SF movies to shame. The highlight is the bit where they have a guy with a radiation detector -- it has a dial and a needle on it. He holds onto the dial, and when pointing the detector at the radiation ... manually, and on camera, turns the dial so that the needle moves. When he swings it away, he turns the dial back the other way .....

Genius. Pure genius.


"Anyone else noticed this?"

My consulting business slowed down last year and I took a full time position as chief architect at a web company -- the moment I did that, an old client called with a $120K contract that I had to turn down (or break my word to the friend who hired me.) I did turn it down, but it was painful. Over the next six months, I turned down something like 250K in contract work because I couldn't commit to it. Double pain.

Just gave two week's notice (today!) and am going back to contract work -- they're stacking up to the point where I'm probably going to have to hire back some of my old subcontractors.

All of this happened because I took that architect position....

Bennett said...

Now *that* one is so bad that it's good.

Anonymous said...

"...There's a scene where the screenwriter implies that Dwayne's character, in a hockey game, failed to protect another player. HOCKEY IS NOT FOOTBALL, and 'blocking' for the guy with the puck is a penalty, specifically, 'interference'. Took me completely out of the experience..."

Remember Run DMC's song "You Be Illin'"?

"...(To)day you won a ticket to see Doctor J
Front row seat (in free!) no pay
Radio in hand, snacks by the feet
Game's about to start, you kickin popcorn to the beat
You finally wake up, Doc's gone to town
'Round his back, to the hoop, and you scream 'Touchdown!'..."

Dan Moran said...

I'm so old and white -- couple days ago my 14 year old white boy said to me, "Do you know who Run-DMC is?"

Jared said...

you need to crack your iPad. jailbreaking is SOOO easy now. you own it - don't let apple tell you what you can do with it.

Lobo said...

Maybe I'm behind the times, but isn't "protecting" a teammate in hockey just being a goon? I haven't seen the movie, but a goon fails to protect a player by not visiting swift and decisive retribution on players who take liberties with the goon's teammates. Is it possible that was the protection he failed to provide?

bud said...

To Lobo-

The scene in question:
New guy, hotshot scorer, rival for "star" status, has the puck, getting ready to shoot. Opposition player heading for him (legal move - body checks are allowed on the player posessing the puck). Dwayne's character (in slo-mo, of course) is heading on an intercept course, then trips and falls, "allowing" new guy to get creamed before he can shoot.

The role of the "goon" (the other teams bad guy) or "protector" (your teams bad guy) is to either start fights with their good players to put them off their game or get them off the ice in matching penalties, or to interpose yourself between the other teams "goon" and your good players when they attempt that tactic.

Marty S said...

My candidate for worst science fiction movie ever is Disney's Black Hole from 1979.

R said...

I saw Blair on a talk show promoting the book along with a clip of the Vook. My copy of From Capetown just arrived today. I can't wait to begin reading it.

I've yet to meet anyone who's seen The Ghost Writer but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm curious to see what you think of it.

Steven Barnes said...

I've heard terrific things about "Ghost Writer" and will see it on DVD.