LKMYNTS... Bang Bang, You're Dead.

For this Little Known Movies You Need To See, I'll be discussing Bang Bang, You're Dead. I’ve been waiting for the right moment to discuss this movie, and I think the moment has come. This movie is, by far, one of the most important pieces of film ever made. And I don’t mean that it’s just an excellent movie, but this movie is truly important. As a future high school teacher, I plan on showing this movie to every student I possibly can (and anybody who sees this movie would tell you likewise). Now that I’ve built it up, I can go on to the actual movie.

Bang Bang, You’re Dead tells us the story of Trevor (Ben Foster, in what is by far his best performance), who was a good, normal student until he began being bullied by other students. He then became worse and worse until he finally snapped and threatened to blow up the football team. The bomb was non-functional (there was no explosive), but was otherwise perfectly made. He was suspended from school. The school put in place a Zero Tolerance policy, along with an expensive metal detector, and then let Trevor come back the next year (though with heavy surveillance, frisking, and anger management sessions). He also decides to use a video camera to film his everyday life at both home and school and record his own thoughts. Meanwhile, the drama teacher, Mr. Duncan (Tom Cavanaugh), prints out a play called Bang Bang, You’re Dead (which, by the way, is a real play), which is about a school shooting, and proceeds to cast Trevor as the lead role of the shooter. This causes a lot of controversy, but Mr. Duncan refuses to stop production.

There are a lot of other subplots, such as a love interest/friendship and hanging out with these loners who call themselves ‘Trogs’ (they’re basically the epitome of what you’d actually expect school shooters to be like). But everything is woven together in the overall plot of Trevor’s journey of being understood.

There are two scenes that always stick out the most to me, which are also two scenes that made me cry. One is a scene when the police take one of his videos that he shot and plays it in front of parents/faculty/police/etc. Just seeing everything through Trevor’s eyes and how everything is working against him, and against other people, as well… just seeing what would drive a person to do something so drastic… it’s heart-wrenching. And the saddest part is that it is all completely true. The other scene is the movie’s ending, which I won’t spoil.

(Randomly: I actually put/edited together a few clips from the movie (mostly using bits from the video diary scene) to use for a presentation on Zero Tolerance. The clip was only about 5 minutes long, but by the time it was over, I had the entire class, including the teacher, in tears).

This is a powerfully written and powerfully filmed movie that, unfortunately, almost nobody has ever even heard of. And it’s also very hard to find, because production of the DVD was stopped a few years back, so you can really only find it on places like Amazon (that’s where I got mine). I can’t recommend this movie to enough people, really. I can’t even rate this movie, because I would give it a score higher than I have. That’s how great/important this movie is.



Before seeing this movie, I read a good way to describe it… and after seeing it, it still holds true: This movie is basically like mixing Saw with CSI. Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) and Griffin Dowd (Colin Hanks) work for the FBI’s cyber crime division. One day Marsh gets a tip for a website called killwithme.com. All that’s there is a live stream of a kitten trapped in a glue-trap for rats. Soon after the kitten dies and the website gains a bit of notoriety, the cat is replaced with a man who is hooked up with this blood thinner stuff, basically turning him into a super-hemophiliac. The catch is that the more people who visit the site, the more of that blood thinner goes into his body. But when the guy dies and is replaced by another, they realize that this killer is just going to keep going, and the site is going to get more visits, and people are going to die faster and faster.

I was actually pleasantly surprised with this movie, though I’m not sure if that’s because I went in with low expectations. Usually movies like this lately haven’t been too excellent, and they’re made even worse by a cheesy and predictable twist ending. As I’ve mentioned before, twists can either make or break a movie, and most of the time they break it. And I’ll be honest: I thought I had the movie figured out from the trailer alone, because every thriller these days has a twist ending. Except this one. Yes, I admit that I was wrong in this case. This movie did not have some wacky, predictable twist ending. You actually start seeing the killer’s face about halfway into the movie. But that didn’t make the movie bad, oh no. It was almost a bit refreshing.

And the movie was pretty suspenseful, too. It wasn’t the most edge-of-your-seat thriller ever, and it starts off a bit slow, but it does keep your attention. There is some gore, and the movie is actually pretty hardcore in some instances. The ways people died did remind me somewhat of how they might in a Saw movie; they are inventive and brutal. Also, like Saw, their deaths don’t come directly from the bad guy himself. Though, unlike Saw movies (except Saw 3), there’s no way for them to get out of their situation alive without outside help.

Another Saw parallel could be the social commentary, and the fact that the ‘killer’ does have a message and reasoning for doing what he does. The movie really showcases how American society (and it makes sure to point out to you that it is purely American society) is drawn to violence and the ‘car wreck scenario’ (you see it’s horrible, but can’t help but watch), as well as how people will do anything for a bit of fame and fortune. It’s pretty in-your-face, especially when they show the comments being posted on the website from the people watching.

The characters were good, although I only felt attached to Marsh and Griffin, and you do care if they die or not. The acting was pretty average, of course. It’s just a common thriller, so we aren’t expecting Oscar-worthy performances. But they kept you in the movie and nothing really detracted.

I suppose the only real downer was that, although it lacked the twist ending, it basically followed the detective thriller formula… you know such-and-such and this-and-that are going to happen sometime in the movie, and they do. And there were way too many Chekhov’s Gun’s that pointed to things that would happen later. But I still liked the ending, as it re-enforced the social commentary one last time. It’s a nice little thriller, and it’s slightly better than average. I give it A Keanu ‘Whoa’.


R.I.P. Heath Ledger.

Horrible news today... Heath Ledger, star of Brokeback Mountain, 10 Things I Hate About You, A Knight's Tale, and the upcoming The Dark Knight, in which he plays The Joker, has been found dead today (1/22/08). He was found in a random apartment (which was once thought to be of Mary-Kate Olsen's, but that has been proven as false) in Manhattan by a masseuse who was scheduled to come by. It seems the death was drug/pill-related. He was 28 years old and had a daughter with ex-fiance, Michelle Williams.

He was a good actor and everybody was looking forward to seeing him as The Joker in the newest Batman. And when that time comes around, we will all be laughing with you, and not at you, and you will be missed. R.I.P.


R2D2.... 2.

Tonight on Random Ramblings of a Demented Doorknob...

- I noticed a while back something interesting that I hadn't heard anybody else ever mention. In 1995, Bruce Willis made a movie entitled Twelve Monkeys in which he played a man named James Cole. In this movie, at one point, he utters the line "All I see are dead people." Four years later, he stars in a movie entitled The Sixth Sense, in which a boy named Cole Sear tells him "I see dead people." Both movies have a character with the name Cole give off that line, both movies have Bruce Willis, and SIX is just half of TWELVE. Coincidence... or conspiracy (dun dun dun!)?

- Was this newest Rambo movie really necessary? And how cliche was Drowning Pool's 'Bodies' in the trailer?

- Reading the imdb forums (which is always a regrettable experience) for the movie Waiting..., I stumbled across a topic that had somebody asking to name any career more difficult than being a waiter. Somebody took the words out of my mouth and said 'Teacher'. Then somebody replied to them with something along the lines of 'HAHAHAHAHAHA! TEACHER?! They just read answers from a book! That's no more difficult than having Alex Trebeck's job!' I'm not an easily angering person, but I wanted to smash that guy's face in. That's all I really have to say about that.

- As I'm currently reading World War Z by Max Brooks (as well as 50 other million books), I constantly wonder how exactly they're gonna make this into a movie (because they're already in the process of doing so). No matter what happens, it's gonna be interesting... and I can't wait to see the results.

- I still have no idea how Chuck and Larry tied with Norbit and was worse than Captivity, Daddy Day Camp, and Bratz for the Razzies. Seriously, it's not the most amazing movie ever, but I still thought it was funny and entertaining.

- If none of you have already, y'all definitely need to check out Movies in Fifteen Minutes, more specifically the 2 Harry Potters and the Golden Compass. This girl is a genius. I laugh so hard every time I read from her (I first read Prisoner of Azkaban in 15 Minutes forever ago, but recently read it again, and still laughed my ass off). I think she's even just gotten a book deal, too. Anyway, here you go: http://community.livejournal.com/m15m/

- Am I the only person to have already figured out the killer for the upcoming Untraceable? Unless it's just there to throw people off, how can you NOT figure it out from the movie trailer? Seriously... just listen closely. You can recognize the killer's voice toward the end of the trailer very easily.

- Would anybody else but me willingly sell a body part to help pay and/or try to talk Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg into doing the quasi-sequel of Shaun of the Dead... From Dusk Til Shaun? I know they said they won't, but it's just too perfect to pass up! Seriously! From zombies to vampires... and the title fits so well... Just do it already!

Anywho, I think that's about all I have for tonight... tune in next time!


Top 10 Celebrity Cameos in Movies.

Celebrity cameos are when famous people make generally quick, random appearances in movies or television, typically for a laugh. The best cameos, I think, are the ones that are so completely random you have to do a double-take before realizing what’s going on and then laugh. This list is made up of 10 different celebrities, obviously, and the movies they have made cameos in. The movies on this list might not all be the best movies in the world, but most uber-awesome movies don’t usually have random celebrity cameos, now, do they? So without further ado…

10. David Hasselhoff

There were three movies that came to mind when I thought of David Hasselhoff: The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, EuroTrip, and The New Guy. Spongebob’s was probably the weirdest, EuroTrip’s the funniest, and The New Guy’s was the most confusing. I can’t really narrow this one down to which one would be the most random or the best, as they were all relatively random and funny in their own way. That’s why The Hoff is number 10 on the list. If I had to choose, it would be a tie between EuroTrip and The New Guy, and maybe EuroTrip coming out on top (mostly because The New Guy’s cameo was almost too random).

9. Tom Cruise

This one was difficult, because the beginning of Austin Powers in GoldMember was full of cameos, from Kevin Spacey to Steven Spielberg to Britney Spears. But it was Tom Cruise as Austin Powers that I think caught me off guard the most (with a quick second to Kevin Spacey). Love him or hate him, just seeing Tom in the outfit and saying “yeah baby!” and “Shall we shag now or shag later?” was great.

8. David Bowie

His appearance in Zoolander seemed less random than it actually was. I suppose because Zoolander is a completely random movie to begin with that it was basically expected. But anyway, seeing the man refereeing a ‘walk-off’ between Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson might not have been the funniest cameo, but it was just random enough to be great.

7. Vin Diesel

Speaking of great yet unfunny cameos, Vin’s appearance at the end of Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift was a nice callback to the first movie. Because Vin couldn’t appear in the second movie, they had him pop in right before the credits of the third for a surprise ending. It put a smile on my face, anyway, even though I knew it was coming before I saw it.

6. David Spade

In a scene that suddenly made most straight men question their sexuality, David Spade pops up in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry in a most interesting fashion (no pun intended). The camera zooms in on a nice butt in a bunny costume, leading you to believe it is Jessica Biel. But as Adam Sandler closes in, the bunny suit person turns around and reveals that it is none other than David Spade. He also appears again later in another random outfit. And no worries, gentlemen, that actually was Jessica Biel’s butt when they close in, and they pull a switch right before the reveal.

5. Stan Lee

Stan Lee is probably the king of cameos in movies and television. From any movie based off his comics to the TV hit “Heroes,” Stan Lee’s appearances are nothing less than awesome. But it was his cameo in Kevin Smith’s Mallrats that makes this list. Brodie (Jason Lee) is a comic book nerd going through the mall with his good friend when he suddenly sees a huge line outside his favorite comic shop. What are they waiting in line for? To see none other than Stan Lee himself. But when Brodie makes a scene and gets thrown out, he loses all chances of meeting The Man himself… until his good pal sets up his own private meeting for him. The conversation about superhero sex is a classic.

4. John Turturro

There are two cameos in The Big Lebowski that make this list, and the first is John Turturro as Jesus. I don’t mean the son of God, here, but a random bowler and pedophile who really only has two scenes in the entire movie and really no purpose whatsoever… except hilarity. That’s why he makes the list.

3. David Thewlis

This is the second cameo from Lebowski. I don’t know if it’s just because I knew him as Professor Lupin prior to seeing this movie, but his random cameo appearance in this movie was one of the funniest scenes in the entire film. He plays the hyper (assumingly) gay friend of Maude Lebowski with a really annoying laugh. Again, like Jesus, there was no real point to his appearance except that it was hilarious. And while Jesus was the more memorable character, I think David Thewlis’ character was funnier, which is why he got one spot higher on the list.

2. Bill Murray

Originally played by a very young Jack Nicholson (in one of his first roles), the pain-loving dentist patient in the remake of Little Shop of Horrors is classic. Bill Murray’s portrayal of Arthur Denton (Wilbur Force in the original) is hands down the funniest scene in the entire movie, and Bill Murray basically improvised the entire thing, with Steve Martin playing off of him. Never again can I think of the dentist without the additional scream of “Candy bar! Candy bar! Ohh, I’m gonna get a candy bar!”

1. Matt Damon

His cameo is EuroTrip is so random, and his appearance is so different than how he normally looks, that I didn’t even recognize him until halfway through the scene. In fact, I know some people who went the entire movie and didn’t even realize it was Matt Damon at all. He plays a rocker at the beginning who first (fake) sings the movie’s infamous Scotty Doesn’t Know. He’s bald and tattooed and pierced up and makes out with Kristin Kreuk. Because of causing the double take and being responsible for the most memorable song from the movie, Matt Damon in EuroTrip makes the top of this list.


The first four runners-up didn’t make the list because you basically expected them in the movie from the beginning. The last just barely missed making the list.

1) Bruce Campbell in the Spider-Man movies… especially after the first one, you knew he was going to be in each one.

2) Keith Richards in Pirates of the Caribbean 3… Johnny Depp said numerous times that he portrayed Captain Jack Sparrow after Keith Richards, and it was announced quite a bit that Richards was going to make an appearance in the final movie (he was actually supposed to be in the second, but couldn’t make it due to a concert tour).

3) Ben Stiller in School for Scoundrels… love or hate the movie, his appearance was funny and very different from normal Stiller. But I think he was even advertised to be in the movie beforehand, so it wasn’t that big of a surprise, even for the small role.

4) Will Ferrell in Wedding Crashers… it was a funny cameo, but too expected due to the fact that those guys are always in each other’s movies and will appear at some point some how.

5) Bob Barker in Happy Gilmore… the fight scene between him and Adam Sandler was great, but the set-up didn’t feel random enough, as I really could imagine Sandler and Barker going out to hit a few balls together at a country club or something.



Cloverfield… It’s Godzilla meets Lonelygirl15… or The Blair Witch Project… whichever you prefer. The difference is that it is infinitely better than all of those.

Cloverfield is about this dude, Rob, who gets this Vice President job position in Japan, so his friends and his brother, Jason, throw him this going away party. Jason is supposed to film everybody in the party and have them say their goodbyes and congrats and such to the camera (like at a wedding), but passes it off to Rob’s best friend, Hud. Well, Rob and Beth, his long-time friend, hooked up about a month prior but he never followed up due to his leaving, which causes a bunch of drama. On top of that, a giant monster decides now would be a good time to attack New York and destroy everything. Damn monster! So anyway, a small group of the party-goers run around while Hud films everything (“I think people should know how it all went down”).

I’ll stop it there, because any more would spoil it. There is a plot (or mission, really), and it isn’t just them running around freaking out. The characters are fully developed and you really care for each one of them (though some more than others). You don’t want anything to happen to them. It’s not like other horror movies where the movie focuses on the gimmick instead of the characters. No, this is a monster movie where the characters are the forefront and the monster is just kinda there messing everything else up. And yes, you do get to see the monster from numerous angles and quite a few times, though you get some really nice close-ups near the end.

As for the characters, Rob is obviously meant to be the main character or whatnot… but I think that title should go to Hud. You only see him maybe like… 5 times the entire movie, as he’s behind the camera the whole time, but you always know he’s there and he has great personality. The whole movie is literally in his hands. And I don’t know about anybody else, but even though you barely even see the guy, he was the character I became most attached to.

But what’s a monster movie without suspense or action? This movie has both, and loads of it. This movie is so incredibly suspenseful and engaging that after the monster attack began (it takes about 20 minutes or so, as the beginning is all character development), I never even looked at my watch once. One of my favorite scenes probably would have to be the subway tunnel scene.

And the monster itself? Well, it looks awesome, to put it simply. It’s creepy and random looking. And the CGI in this movie couldn’t be better. The monster and its little mini-creature things are very realistic (I’m sure the shadows help, too). And some of the sets and stuff looked awesome, too, like the leaning building they have to cross into.

I just really don’t want to stop talking about this movie. I think it’s easily one of the best of 2008 thus far (granted, it’s only January, but still. It will probably stay on the list for a long time). The only downside might be that there’s no real closure. You really aren’t sure what happens to those left or anything. But part of me wants to say that that almost makes it even more intriguing.

Cloverfield gets a Royale with Cheese.

(P.S. I kinda feel bad for the director, because J.J. Abrams is getting all the credit, and almost nobody has mentioned the poor director).


Random Ramblings of a Demented Doorknob…

Also known as R2D2 (No relation). I just have time to kill before class, I’m bored, and I have a bunch of things on my mind that wouldn’t really fit under any cohesive article… therefore, I have this! So here I go.

- Diary of the Dead comes out next month! George Romero claims that he hasn’t been this excited about one of his movies since the original Night. That makes me excited. Also, there’s gonna be a contest to go along with it where you make a horror movie short and send it in, and Romero watches each one, picks a winner, and the winner gets to go on the Diary DVD. I’m insanely tempted to try for it.

- How the hell does Uwe Boll still keep getting funding AND big name actors? His movies have never done anything but bomb horribly. His latest, In the Name of the King, didn’t even make the top 10 box office over the weekend. One of my co-workers saw it—and we don’t always exactly have the same opinion on movies (sometimes we do, but a lot of times we don’t)—and even she thought it was crap. Also, how do you pronounce the dude’s name? Is it ‘you’, like one of those sheep things, or You-Hey, or You-EE?

- Cloverfield comes out this weekend! I’m excited. It’ll either be really awesome or the hype will have killed it. I’m half inclined to really want it to actually be the stay-puffed marshmallow man like that one spoof trailer shows.

- What is it about movies when really good characters die at the end, and you go through the whole movie hoping that the ending will be different this time around, even if you’ve seen it hundreds of times already? (I watched Cube last night again, and I always hope that the one person who dies at the end doesn’t). Or am I just crazy and the only one who ever feels that way?

- I’m both excited for and wary of the upcoming The Eye. I saw the original Asian version a few years ago and it’s an excellent movie. It’s creepy and suspenseful. That elevator scene is intense. And then the ending is just mind blowing. But now it’s being remade with Jessica Alba. That’s the first thing that worries me. I mean, the girl is great to look at, but she’s not the best actress out there. On the other hand, it looks like they still have the elevator scene AND they’re keeping the same ending, so that’s good. Anyway, it comes out next month, I think, so I’ll keep an eye out for it (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

- The song from the second half of the Hellboy II trailer (assuming it’s a different song from the first half) is freaking awesome.

- I just found out that one of my favorite Horror/Comedies, Feast, is getting two sequels: Feast II: Sloppy Seconds and Feast III: The Happy Finish. And they both have sexual related names. I find that funny. Feast went above and beyond the B-Movie/common horror genre. It did what was highly unexpected in how things happened and who lived/died. Every Hollywood horror law is broken in the movie, so you never know what’s gonna happen next, and that’s exciting. And the sequels are being written and directed by all the same people, which is a plus. I so cannot wait.

- Is anybody else super hyped for Jumper? I heard it’s almost nothing like the book, but hey… I haven’t read it, so I don’t care! :P

- Has anybody else heard of the upcoming My Name Is Bruce? It stars the legendary Bruce Campbell… as himself… and some people mistake him for his character of Ash from the Evil Dead series and ask him for help to fight a town of monsters. It looks so freaking cheesy awesome. Classic Bruce Campbell.

- Did anybody else catch the 2-night season premier of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles? This show looks like it’s gonna rock the house. And Summer Glau is so hot. How can you not love this picture?

- I’m so upset that the character Michael is coming back to Lost. I was so happy when he left the show. He got on my nerves so bad. I’m upset now.

- While we’re on the subject of TV and people stuck on islands, the castaway list for the next Survivor was released a week or so ago. For those who don’t know, this season is going to have Fans vs. Favorites, where favorites from previous seasons come back to face true fans of the show. Well, I have no idea who I’m gonna root for now… because Yau-Man, Ozzy, AND James are returning. And even Johnny Fairplay is coming back. I’m not rooting for him, but he’ll be fun to watch. This is gonna be an awesome season.

Anywho, that’s all I can think of for right now. I’ll leave it at that. Later!



So my sister took me to go see The Bucket List with her. This will probably be a fairly short review. The premise of the movie is that these two guys, Edward (Jack Nicholson) and Carter (Morgan Freeman) are dying of cancer and get stuck in a hospital room together. Edward owns the hospital and, therefore, has lots of money. When both men hear they have a year at most to live, they start to give up. But then Edward hears of this ‘Bucket List’ (things to do before you ‘kick the bucket’) thing from Carter and decides to do it. So they write down a bunch of stuff to do and go do it, even against Carter’s wife’s feelings.

Overall, the movie was entertaining. It had some pretty funny scenes, and some of the scenes seemed forced. I didn’t really care for Jack Nicholson’s performance in the movie (except maybe near the end). I wanted to feel sorry for the character, but I just couldn’t. On the other hand, I loved Morgan Freeman in this, though I love him in just about anything he does. But I must say that Sean Hayes (Jack from Will & Grace) stole every scene he was in, which was a lot of them.

I can’t really say much else about this movie. It was really funny, it was endearing, and I learned a lot of useless trivia (I’m all for that stuff) from Freeman’s character. I think I’d give this one A Keanu ‘Whoa’.

(P.S. I was also surprised to find out (because I didn’t know beforehand) that this was a Rob Reiner (The Princess Bride, Misery, A Few Good Men, This is Spinal Tap) film. Huh.)



1) It’s in Spanish.
2) It’s short-listed for an Oscar (Best Foreign Film).

Therefore: How the hell did it find its way to my town, much less opening weekend?

El Orfanato, better known as The Orphanage, is a Spanish psychological thriller. The previews make it out to be a horror movie, but it’s not gory (there’s a little blood, but not much), and the whole thing plays more as a thriller/mystery than a horror movie. There are scares, and they are pretty scary, but I don’t think they’re enough to classify it as horror. So anyway, I went to the first showing possible, afraid my theater might change their mind and ship it away again.

The Orphanage is about a woman, Laura, who was raised in an orphanage as a child and decides to move back there with her family to start the place back up again. But her son, Simón, who is also adopted and is HIV positive, makes a few new invisible friends, and soon after a strange social worker shows up to inquire about him, Simón goes missing. Laura starts to experience odd occurances and begins to wonder if the old orphanage is haunted and if the ghosts took her son away.

The movie really plays well going back and forth, making you wonder if there’s something supernatural going on, or if somebody has simply kidnapped her son and is messing with her. There are no cheesy special effects (I actually don’t think there were any special effects), and the movie was still able to be suspenseful and creepy/scary.

The acting, especially by the woman who plays Laura, is excellent. I can see why this movie was given an Oscar-nom. And by the time it’s over, you aren’t asking questions about potential plot holes or anything that didn’t make sense. Everything is explained perfectly, and I left perfectly satisfied. Well, except that there was a baby (complete with like… a freakin crib) in the theater; there were a lot of quiet moments in the movie, and the movie playing in the screen next to this one was insanely loud; and I guess my theater really isn’t used to foreign films, because for the first 5-10 minutes (until somebody told the staff), the projection was too low, so the subtitles were cut in half (luckily I can read words by only seeing the top half of letters).

All in all, it wasn’t as beautiful as Pan’s Labyrinth (though it’s only presented by Guillermo del Toro, not actually made by him… kinda like what Quentin Tarantino likes to do, except this movie was actually good unlike most that Tarantino likes to present *cough*Hostel*cough*), but it was beautiful in its own right. It was a completely different kind of movie. I give it a Royale with Cheese.

(P.S. I really think American directors need to go to foreign countries before making horror/thriller-type movies. These people know what they’re doing. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle – British… it’s foreign to the US!), 28 Weeks Later (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo – Spanish), Saw (James Wan & Leigh Whannell – Australian), Cube (Vincenzo Natali – French Canadian), and not to mention countless Asian Horror films).


Unrelated to Movies: Finished Book.

This has nothing to do with movies or anything. I just wanted to share that I just finished writing my third novel. Though, I have been told numerous times that my writing style has a very cinematic feel to it (Gee, I wonder why). So anyway, it's just the first draft, but here's all the details...

The length isn't too bad for a first draft. It's slightly longer than my other first drafts have been. I'll probably end up adding another 100 pages or so (maybe a little less) in the next couple drafts. But this has been a story that's been in my head for at least 3 and a half years now, and includes a character that's been constantly evolving in my brain for about 7-8 years. So without further ado...

Page Count: 270.
Word Count (according to WORD): 58,828.
Chapters: 28.

And the moment that y'all have been waiting for...

Title: A Whisper Softly.

I fought with the title for a long time. I actually just decided to make it that. For the longest time it was The GodBreath: A Whisper Softly... but that doesn't fit right to me, and it hints that it might be a series or trilogy, which it might not be. I thought about just making it 'The GodBreath', but that only comes in near the end, and I really wanted 'A Whisper Softly' in the title. But the latter eventually won over the former... so there it is. And now, to continue...

Story Synopsis:

Sadistic pedophile and serial killer Laurence Fyche has finally been caught; there's just one problem: his latest victim, Darren Meraux, is still out there somewhere, possibly alive. Detective Akemi Endo and her partner, Malcolm Phoenix, are desperately trying to figure out where he has hidden Darren before the boy dies of dehydration. But when a mysterious man who calls himself Stockholm sets up what seems to be the perfect hostage situation at a local bank, with Malcolm as one of the hostages, and states that his only demand is to speak with Akemi and Fyche in private, Akemi is forced to oblige. Once alone, Stockholm's sole request is for Akemi to listen to a Legend that stems back to the old west, while Fyche begins to finally tell his own story, bit by bit. Meanwhile, Malcolm and Captain John Harrison try to figure out what exactly is going on with the hostage situation and if there is any way to get the hostages out. Nothing is pointing toward this being an actual robbery. The mistakes are too obvious for such a perfect scenario. So what is Stockholm really after? Is he merely trying to help the police find Darren's location through drastic measures, or is the reasoning something far more complex, something that can only be found in the words of his Legend? All Akemi can do to find out is sit, wait, and listen…

And because the Legend is a -huge- chunk of the story...

Legend synopsis:

Three decades after the Texas Revolution, whispers of a secret war loomed. Entire families would be taken and never heard from again. 13-year-old Antonio belonged to one such family. Taken to a run-down containment camp and split up from his mother, Antonio meets Maria, a kind 16-year-old girl who becomes his closest friend. However, after an awful massacre, of which Antonio believes he is the only survivor, he leaves with only the shirt on his back and a bible in his hand. He is eventually found by a strange religious group who live in a nearby Monastery, and they tell Antonio that he is special and has to complete three tasks, one of which includes finding the mysterious GodBreath. Meanwhile, Maria, barely alive and having also survived the massacre, stumbles upon a down-on-his-luck con man named Jack, who conned the wrong outlaw. Jack takes Maria back to a nearby town in which he resides with only the worry that the outlaw he had conned will show up to confront his brother, the town's Sheriff. So the two children who were once the closest of friends go separate ways, leaving only room to wonder how their stories will intertwine once again.

So there it is! I'm actually pretty surprised, as it really turned out to have a lot of social commentary in it. I don't think it's preachy, but it's just there... kind of like that quote says that I put at the beginning. The quote, by the way, is this...

"I'm so sick of sarcasm and irony, I could kill! Sincerely, the real root of things is love and sacrifice. Everything else is an illusion. I'm not trying to preach here. I can't tell anybody anything. But I will say, if you're available to them, there are so many great secrets in the world, so many signs. It's when we stop for a moment and listening that the world gets interesting."

~ Ben Foster (Actor)

Yeah... I used a quote by an actor... but it was so fitting that I just had to. So yeah, I'm really happy with what I have in this draft. Now I get to have my celebratory headache (I always get a headache after finished a book. I don't know why).


Disappointing Endings... Sunshine.


I had been waiting to see this movie for a long time. 28 Days Later… is one of my favorite horror movies, and I just kept hearing more and more about this film. It didn’t come to theater here, so I had to wait for the DVD, which came out yesterday. I knew about the supposedly awful last part of the movie, and I even readied myself for it. I was prepped and had my expectations set pretty low for the very end. And I was still disappointed.

Sunshine is about a group of astronauts and scientists who go to reignite the sun with a huge bomb after the previous attempt failed and the ship went missing. On their way, they find the previous ship and decide to go off-course in order to see what happened and to get their bomb so they would have two, in case they screwed up the first time. Bad things ensue.

Visually, this movie was beyond amazing. All of the effects were mesmerizing and top notch. The sun itself was spectacular. The acting was done very well, and overall… it was just a great piece of work. The first hour and 15-20 minutes was a great film. And then the last 20 minutes came.

…What the hell happened? Like 28 Days Later…, the third act of this movie takes a completely different route than you had been expecting. But unlike Days, it really doesn’t work here. Suddenly it goes from an awesome sci-fi movie to a less violent (but less stupid) Jason X. I have no idea what the hell is going on anymore. Suddenly the camera is too shaky to see what’s going on at all, there’s almost no explanation as to what happened, and an extra crispy man that would make a sadistic Colonel Sanders proud starts wreaking havoc on the ship. To me, it felt like The Descent all over again (I swear, I’m the only horror fan on Earth that didn’t like that movie. The first half was great and suspenseful… and then the little blind Gollums show up and it gets crappy).

But then Capa (Cillian Murphy) detaches the bomb, starts banging his head against the ground, and then leaps through space to grab onto it as it launches at the sun. I have no idea why he’s doing this, and then it looks like he’s dead. But oh no, the next thing we know, he’s inside the thing and walking around, and has to fix something or other for the bomb to explode (What, I don’t think we’re ever told).

The last minute of the movie ('8 minutes later') is a good, but it was way too late by that point. The 20 minutes prior to it was just… words cannot describe. If they were adamant to go this route, it would have been better had they just had one of their own crew (the little Asian dude, maybe) get all mental and go crazy like any other paranoia/claustrophobic movie (like Cube). I don’t even really know how to score this movie. The majority would get a great score and the ending would get an awful score, and if I average it together, it would be just that… average. But I don’t think that’s fair to the bulk of the film. So I’ll just leave it open.

(P.S. Was it just me, or did Chris Evans look better/cooler with the long hair and beard?)

UPDATE: I've updated my opinion on this now. The updated opinion can be found here.


Short Review: Hard Candy.

Premise: 14-year-old girl chats with 32-year-old man and meets him in real life. One of them is a predator. It's the girl.

Starring: Ellen Page, Patrick Wilson, Sandra Oh.

My reaction: Uh... Wow...

(Poster: Awesome).

My rating: Royale with Cheese.


What can I say about Juno that hasn’t already been said? It just came to my town, so I’m a bit late on seeing it… so let’s just start at the beginning. Juno is basically like if Knocked Up and Napoleon Dynamite had a love child (no pun intended)—there was even a dude in this one scene that looked and acted like Napoleon Dynamite. So the movie… A quirky girl (Ellen Page) gets pregnant after having boredom sex with her good friend Paulie (Michael Cera). She ends up deciding to go through with the pregnancy, but is going to give it up for adoption instead of keeping it. In making this decision, she and her father (JK Simmons) go and meet the adopting parents (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner), whom Juno really likes. Life ensues.

First I have to say that Juno was a really funny movie. It had me laughing quite a bit, and I wasn’t exactly expecting that. After the first 15 or 20 minutes, the quirky wordage dies down a bit, making the dialogue a bit easier to follow, but it’s still there (and you get used to it pretty quickly). So yeah, funniness… even the dramatic scenes were funny (most of them, anyway).

The acting was top notch. Ellen Page and Michael Cera were fun to watch on screen, especially Michael Cera. JK Simmons—I love the man in Spider-Man, and I love the man in this. He plays the dad role nicely. Jason Bateman gave me the creeps, but it turns out he was supposed to, so yay for that! The real props have to be given to Jennifer Garner, though. She had a very tender role and acted it beautifully.

I have to say, though, the music felt like a character of the movie, too. I loved the music in this movie, and it drew me in every time a song was played. It just fit so well with the overall quirky (I’m overusing this word) feel of the movie.

And don’t let my overuse of the Q-word affect you. Like Knocked Up, this movie had some pretty dramatic scenes in it, as well. Most of them are toward the end of the movie, though. Anyway, I really didn’t feel anything wrong with the movie. It was fun and endearing.

Juno gets a Royale with Cheese… much like her telephone.

(P.S. The next movie I plan on seeing and discussing is Hard Candy, also starring Ellen Page. It sounds wicked).


Aw... Why'd They Have To Die? (Top 10).

Warning: Spoilers from here on in! Continue at your own risk! If you’re spoiled, it’s your own fault!

You know when you’re watching a movie and then suddenly one of your favorite, if not your exact favorite, character(s) die? Yeah, it sucks. This here will be a Top 10 list of characters that upset me a lot when they died, wherein number 1 is the most upsetting. To note, this list will not include characters you know are dead or going to die from the beginning of the movie. As such, Alien 3 is not in this list, because Newt and Hicks died before anything else even happened (Well, Ripley dies at the end, too… but still. It’s Newt and Hicks!). Damn you, Seven and Fight Club director David Fincher!

Anyway, on to the list!

10. Ben – Night of the Living Dead (1968)

What can you say? There’s only one black guy in the whole movie, and he dies last! Take that, other token black characters of horror movie genre!

But seriously, Ben (Duane Jones) makes it through the entire movie as the only freakin survivor of the zombie invasion... on that house! He was the only guy that was the voice of reason in the house (everybody else was freakin out the entire time. I guess he’s used to this kinda shit down in da hood or something).

How he dies: He makes it to the next morning and hears the distant sound of help. He peeks out the window, only to be shot in the head by a bunch of drunken rednecks. Then he’s stabbed by a pitchfork and burned. Yeah, I know… racism allegory and all that.

9. Ed – Shaun of the Dead (2004)

To continue with the zombie theme of the previous movie on the list, I really didn’t see this one coming. Ed (Nick Frost) is the best friend of Shaun. He’s bumbling, foul-mouthed, and not too bright. He causes one or two issues here or there, but he was always good for a laugh.

How he dies: While trying to hold a few zed-words back for Shaun to shoot, one of them bites him. Then another one bites him. Then he just stays behind while Shaun and Liz leave and becomes a zed-word himself, to later be chained up in Shaun’s shed to play video games for the rest of his undead life.

8. Chas – Constantine (2005)

Chas Kramer (Shia LaBeouf) is Constantine’s driver, basically. He takes him around wherever he needs to go, even though Chas thinks he should be upgraded from driver to partner. Chas is funny and overall innocent in the scheme of things.

How he dies: He gets beaten to death by Gabriel (Tilda Swinton). Poor Chas.

7. Kevin – Hostage (2005)

Kevin (Marshall Allman) was the innocent brother of Dennis (Jonathan Tucker) who just got caught up unwillingly in this big hostage situation. He hates what’s going on. He freaks on his brother. He’s scared of Mars (Ben Foster), but really, who isn’t? When the helicopter scene shows, he has the chance to run and get out of there, but he doesn't. He really should have.

How he dies: Kevin attempts to get the hostages and get the heck out of there, but runs into Mars on the way. He tells Mars what he’s doing, and then turns his back on him (his mistake). Mars then proceeds to run up behind him and throw him over the second floor railing to slam onto the hard first floor.

6. Jack/Kyra – Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

In this sequel to Pitch Black, the character of Jack had not only been renamed to Kyra (Jack wasn’t her real name anyway), but was recast as Alexa Davalos albeit the original actress willing to take the part.

Anyway, Kyra is now this badass girl, having been arrested and learned everything that her hero Riddick learned. The only thing she discovers is that she couldn’t get the shine-job on her eyes like he did. So when Riddick shows up at her prison to save her, she’s less than happy to see him. But they get out of there and fight and work together and all that jazz. But then Kyra is kidnapped by the bad guys.

How she dies: After snapping out of her brainwashing, Kyra tries to protect Riddick, but is flung back against a spiky pillar, getting one of the spikes right through her chest. Granted, there was supposed to be another couple of movies in which Riddick goes to search for a way to bring her back to life… but it doesn’t look like that’s happening.

5. CJ – Dawn of the Dead (2004)

This guy probably has the most character development of any of the characters on this list, which is why he’s on it. Oh, and I swear this is the last zombie movie on the list.

CJ (Michael Kelly) starts the movie as a major a-hole, but as it goes on, his character is still an a-hole, but he’s become a lot more likeable than he was before. He’s helping the good guys now instead of being a jerk and yelling the whole time.

How he dies: While the others are running from all the zombies and trying to get to a boat and go out to sea, CJ stays behind in the bus and blows up himself and some zombies with a flare and some propane to help the others get away. Aw, how nice.

4. Frank – 28 Days Later… (2002)

This is NOT a zombie movie. Anyway, Frank (Brendan Gleeson) is introduced a little less than halfway in as the loveable ex-cop (or something) and father of Hannah. He’s a joy to watch on screen, although sometimes a bit too protective. You really like his character almost right from the time you meet him and hate to see him go.

How he dies: He’s pissed off that the radio signal that the military sent out was seemingly a lie, so he’s storming about this dump site. He starts yelling at a bird that won’t shut up and, looking up, a drop of infected blood falls into his eye. Frank gets infected and a heart-wrenching scene where he quickly tries to tell Hannah how much he loves her before telling her to get away ensues. Then the military that he was looking for shows up and shoots him down. Ironic.

3. Wash – Serenity (2005)

This was incredibly unexpected. This was also one of the first times I actually let out an audible gasp in a theater. The rest of the theater, along with me, began going “nooo!”

Wash (Alan Tudyk) was the pilot of the Serenity. There really isn’t much more to say than that. He was really funny and just a really likeable character (Come on, it’s Alan Tudyk. What isn’t likeable?).

How he dies: He flies everybody safely through an outer space war zone between the Alliance and the Reavers. He crash lands quite safely on the planet. “I am a leaf on the wind.” And then half a second later gets a giant sharp, pointy thing through his body.

2. Zack – Alpha Dog (2006)

I know this was based on a true story and all, but I had never heard of it, so I didn’t know what happened. That being said, I was completely and utterly shocked when they actually kill the kid.

Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsch) has Zack (Anton Yelchin) kidnapped after his brother (Ben Foster) fails to pay up on this drug deal (or something like that). And no matter how many times Frankie (Justin Timberlake) tries to get Zack to go home, he won’t do it (Zack liked it where he was). He’s a great kid and way too innocent for what happened to him.

How he dies: In the end, Johnny orders Zack’s death, so he’s taken up to some cliff, taped up, and shot down. There was absolutely no reason for him to be killed. That was messed up.

1. Leaven – Cube (1997)

No other movie’s ending has upset me as much as this one. It’s a great ending, don’t get me wrong, but I just totally did not see it coming.

Leaven (Nicole de Boer) is just this randomly innocent math student who wakes up in a trap-infested cube o’ death with a bunch of other people. Most of the other people are jerks or something of the sort. But Leaven figures out just about everything. She figures out how to get through the cube without going through the trap rooms. Hell, she was even right when she told the group they never should have left the first room they all met up in. She’s one smart cookie.

How she dies: Leaven, Worth (David Hewlett), and Kazan (Andrew Miller) make it to the bridge room that would let them get the hell out. They are on the run, as well, from the psychotic Quentin (Maurice Dean Wint). They open the doorway and are blinded by this great white light that is their escape to freedom. So what happens? Worth SITS DOWN, too exhausted and depressed to go on. He has nothing to look forward to back in his real life. Leaven tries to talk him into getting up and going, as the exit is right there. While she’s doing so, Quentin finds them and stabs her from behind with one of the door handles, lifting her up into the air with it, and dropping her to the ground. I was so mad.

Anyway, that’s it. I have a couple Runners-Up as well that didn’t exactly make the list:

-Doyle (Jeremy Renner) from 28 Weeks Later… (He’s burned to a crisp after saving the others).

-McCord (Steve Buscemi) from The Island… (He’s shot down after saving the others).

Oh, and one last random note: Snape kills Dumbledore in the next HP movie. I warned you!