• Category Archives Movies
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  • The Princess’ Bride

    As part of my effort to post favorite quotes and related movie clips where available…

    Maybe the best movie of all time.
    Maybe the best fencing and fight scene of all time.
    So many quotes in the one scene.

    The Princess’ Bride

    1. Unless the enemy has a studied his a grippa, which I have.
    2. I’ve worked hard to become so.
    3. Because I know something you don’t know… I am not left handed…I ought to be after twenty years…I’m not left handed, either.

    Too many great quotes in that movie but I didn’t remember so many were from the MOST EPIC FENCING BATTLE IN MOVIE HISTORY! But I should also add 4. Get used to disappointment, 5. Kill me quickly… OMGosh, I hold the whole scene in the highest regard:

    And this clip specifically regarding working hard:

  • Dov S S Simens

    I first saw a poster about this guy very soon after I began studying film in Junior College. With 20/20 hindsight, I can tell you without having taken his class or bought his course on video yet, it would have been much more effective for me to go to his seminar and start taking any job I could while I worked on my own material.

    I think his course and a LegalShield membership is the best way to get started. The second best way is just to go work for free or almost free on everything you can, as fast as you can and make as many friends as you can and learn as much as you can. But his school will help by giving you some context and insight. I can tell from his web clips.

    And this is true for many of my former classmates as well.

    YouTube Channel (got some useful info about Treatments in May 2014 from here and it prompted me to make this blog post)




  • Star Trek Fan Films

    I worked on one here in Austin in about 2007 which now in May 2014 has been completed, I’m in the credits and the listed me on the IMDB although I can’t get some of my other stuff into IMDB (that will change):

    Starship Exeter (that I worked on)



    Star Trek Continues  (with Grant Imahara)

    Vic Mignogna and team are proud to be part of Star Trek history with the fan production aimed at completing the final two years of the original 5-year mission. We love the original series of our favorite science fiction fix – Star Trek!



    Star Trek Phase II (I think this was the first professional caliber fan film released and it was released online as I recall)



    Starhip Farragut



    Starship Polaris (not Trek related but produced by Farragut Films)



    Farragut Films preceeded Starship Polaris as far as I can tell


  • My Movie Philosophy

    Again, pasted form my old site. Here are my theories on movies and what makes a good one.

    Here are my rough, off the top of my head (from 2007 or earlier) criteria for a good movie (this is the “grain of salt” you should take my recommendations with):

    Technically well done

    -No Boom Shadows in the shot. No bad edits. Well photographed. Carefully made.

    Ex: “Phantom Menace” totally aced this category for me. It broke ground. It was Beautiful. It seemed technically flawless to me. Nevertheless, it disappointed me on almost Every other criteria and I didn’t like the movie. I Certainly did NOT wait 20 years to find out that Yoda was Obi-Wan’s master only in a remote sense of the term.

    Justice Prevails

    -And if there is a bad guy, we establish that he is a bad guy and he gets what is coming to him. I sometimes call this whole criteria “The Batman Principle.” Not because of the films, but because of the premise of Batman’s origin in his first comic book appearance. I confess I have not read a comic in a long time, but I have read about 100 or so of them as a kid.
    Ex: I have to say that “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” accomplished this because not only did the Emperor get killed, but he got killed by Darth Vader, his primary victim, and Darth converted back to good. I know there must be another good example, but I can’t think of one. I’ll have to put it on my list of things to do for this page.

    Sound Ending

    -Happy endings are best, but a well-justified ending in non-negotiable. The ending must make some sense because everything you have seen has been orchestrated and if it was not orchestrated to culminate in the ending that you are seeing, then it was either: 1) poorly orchestrated (written, edited), or 2) the ending was just stupid (poorly written mostly, or it could not be properly shot for budgetary reasons, but if you couldn’t do it right, then you shouldn’t have said that you did it right and taken $6 plus 3 hours of my life. And releasing a film and asking me to make such an investment presupposes your claim that the movie will be worthwhile. If the trailer (commercial) was done properly, then you should be able to tell what they have to offer. Misleading trailers are a pet peeve of mine).


    -This is intimately tied to the above ending stuff, but if you want me to go watch your stuff after you hooked me with your trailer, then you better have had an accurate trailer and also have done a good job of telling a story.

    There will be more later, but for now, this will have to do. I may even change it after I go through my notes, etc.

    The Genie can’t go back in the bottle

    I just saw The Muppets (2011) and I have to add this one. If you want to break a convention like the 4th wall, having characters talk to the camera, or having the characters address the audience via the camera, then you can’t have them forget that they did that later on. The Muppets had a line something like “This is going to be a short movie.” I don’t think this was an aside. The movie went on as a regular movie and then they made another conscious reference to making a movie again. This jumping back and forth was stupid.

    The movie would have been much better had they planned to make a Movie instead of do a show, and then given us a trailer at the end which accurately depicted the movie we just watched. That would have been much better and could have been AWESOME!

  • Best Movies Ever

    From my old website, this was never updated but I may update now that I’m moving to this new site design.

    These are the Best Movies Ever. At least as I originally composed this list several years ago.
    Harry [Knowles] had another, more considered opinion than I do, but I can’t find it on his site. Maybe some day I’ll put up his and the AFI’s list, or links to them I mean.

    So far these movies are my all-time favourites for the Following Reasons:

    Apollo 13

    Two reasons:

    “We can put a man on the Moon…”


    Braveheart and Contact

    Both demonstrate the true nature of mankind and provide great examples of politics.

    Citizen Kane

    I didn’t quite get this in film school. But I think it was hailed because, like Star Wars, Orson Welles had to Invent some technology to get the film made. Like, he cut a lens in half to get one of the shots with a Long Depth of Field and he did some Magic to do a crane shot through a sign, skylight and down into a room. Stuff that had never been done before. However, unlike Star Wars, this was his First Film! Also, he took on William Randolph Hurst (and suffered the consequences) while making a sweeping epic of passion, power and the means and motivations that drive someone to rise to The Top of their profession. Much, in my opinion, like Julius Caesar, or Bill Gates today. So these are the reasons I list it here. He not only accomplished a few technical miracles, but he also stood up and made a social statment and a good one that was well done and well told. The fact that this was his first try and filmmaking only exposes his genius. One of my great professors, Charles Ramirez-Berg, said that one of Orson’s mistakes was that he said he was going to make the best film ever made. He did. This Really made some people mad.

    Star Wars, True Lies, Forest Gump

    These represent ground-breaking state-of-the-art technological advances in Film. Star Wars demonstrated clearly that movies could do surprising things. It foreshadowed that some day movies would do “anything.” True Lies and Forest Gump did do “anything.” Anything (OK in two dimensions anyway) can now be done on film.

    Metropolis, Singing in the Rain

    Both demonstrate Movie history. Metropolis was a state of the art Silent Film. VERY impressive. Singin’ in the Rain explains how the coming of sound affected the motion picture, which should be all the more evident if you’ve just seen Metropolis. This is my “movie history lesson.” I should probably add The Jazz Singer but I am not familiar with it. I suspect it would make a great illustration of “Great State of the Art Silent Film vs. New Groundbreaking Sound Film” but I can not be sure.

    Harry Knowles’ Aint-It-Cool-News as advertised on Earthlink Billboards for example. A Great site for TV and Film reviews, opinions, and news. He was once the 101 1/2 most powerful person in Hollywood according to Entertainment Weekly magazine, and he lives right here in Austin, Texas. Halelujiah!

  • Good Movies

    Good movies I liked and why:

    Movie Title Why
    The Princess’ Bride Love, True Love…
    Batman Begins  Serious treatment of The Dark Knight
    The Dark Knight  The Dark Knight! I didn’t like some of the liberties but the atmosphere was very well done
    Star Wars (episode IV)  Groundbreaking technical work and positive story
    Forest Gump  Groundbreaking technical work and positive story
    The Matrix  Groundbreaking technical work and great story
    Lady and the Tramp  Sentimental favorite. Excellent date movie.
    Starship Troopers
    Like Water for Chocolate
    Dances with Wolves  Respect for Native Americans, beautiful photography
    The Hunt for Red October  Sean Connery mostly
    Lawrence of Arabia  Classic
    Superman I and II with Christopher Reeve  You could believe Superman could fly
    Big  Awesome, great story, Tom Hanks was great
    Escape from New York
    Predator  Great story
    True Lies  My abs hurt when I left the theater I was laughing so hard. Didn’t remember it as funny though. Should have been a franchise!!!!
    Commando  Arnold!
    Lord of the Rings animated Ralph Bakshi version  Spellbound me as a kid, sentimental favorite. Would have liked to see part II…
    Peter Jackson’s AWESOME Lord of the Rings Trilogy  Outstanding. Nearly flawless. Well done.
    Star Wars Episode V  I loved Han. I wanted more Star Wars. But V doesn’t hold up under close critical scrutiny and I was mad that Han was frozen!!! It should have had more Han!

  • Movie Class

    Watch Metropolis, the height of Silent Film.

    Watch Singing In the Rain, notice the transition to “talkies;”
    Watch Batman (1989) and see how it borrowed from Metropolis;
    Watch these 3 to see how technology makes anything possible:

    • Forest Gump
    • The Matrix
    • Jurassic Park

    James Cameron has an Ace.

    • See 3D go Big Time in Avatar and notice how this story robs Ferngully and Dances with Wolves (I think, I wrote something at the time but can’t find it now).
    • Watch Titanic and see how badly Leonardo DiCaprio handles an accent for example but this movie still sets records. A handpuppet could have done that role apparently.