Monthly Archives: July 2008

“The American Mall” premiere party @ The Cabana Club!

Located just around the corner from the Cinerama Dome, the Cabana Club on Ivar has a really cool “old Hollywood” vibe that I kinda love. There’s a little swimming pool-like water running through the place, bridges to the bar, and crazy cool cabanas everywhere you look. I swear to God, this joint is so retro, you half expect to see Louis B. Mayer boozing it up Errol Flynn in the corner.

"The American Mall" neon sign over the bar

"American Mall" after party @ the Cabana Club

Christine and I had been here once before, for the WGA’s post-strike “Contract Celebration Party” in March, but obviously, this party was a lot more fun. And unlike the WGA bash where the bar was only halfway “open”, on Monday night, the free drinks were flowing freely, amigos!

And though most of the food was delicious, I’d have to say the highlights were the “American Mall” cookies and the Ben & Jerry’s booth — there is a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cart prominently featured in the movie — that came stocked with five yummy flavors of ice cream.

There was also a hugely popular Sears Arrive Lounge photo booth near the dance floor (we took two sets of pics) and an area where people could spread out and play MTV’s hit video game “Rock Band” — which is also featured kinda prominently in my movie. I know, I know…product placement much? But, hello, this movie is set in a mall…so, what better place to, um, place some products?

Ooo, speaking of branding. I know they probably do this at all the Hollywood premieres, but another thing I totally loved was the fact that they slapped “The American Mall” logo on EVERYTHING. Napkins, the food trays, cookies, a super cool neon sign over the bar, hell, even the wait staff and bartenders wore “American Mall” t-shirts. It was awesome!

But the highlight of the evening was really just chilling with the cast and crew from the movie. I had met all of the core cast members when I visited the set in Utah back in February, but Christine was meeting them all for the first time and had a blast. Everyone — and I mean everyone — both in front of and behind the camera was crazy nice! Seriously, it was like old home week…

I’m sure you’ll recognize some of the more famous guests at the party — Jai Rodriguez from “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” told me he loved the movie as did the super cool African-American chick from “High School Musical”, Monique Coleman — but, mark my words, the rest of the “Mall” cast is gonna be huge. And they deserve it, because, in my totally unbiased opinion, they really rocked that mall hard, baby.

So with Christine’s feet ready to fall off — those heels were high, yo! — we stumbled back to our car just before midnight and hurried home to open our gift bags! Sadly, no “Rock Band”, but we did get some cool guitar string bracelets like the one the Ally character wears in the movie, “American Mall” t-shirts, stickers, a CD of the soundtrack and loads of Clean and Clear products…so, hey, not a bad way to end the night.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to rinse off my new deep-cleansing acne mask and go to bed. Que viva la Mall!

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Movie premiere food…

OK, the big story here is…free popcorn and soda! Yay! Sure there were some awesome finger foods at the premiere after party at the Cabana Club — I’ll post some pics of those amazing “American Mall” cookies very soon, I promise! — but Christine and I were probably most impressed with the tables and tables of free popcorn at the Cinerama Dome.

The Hollywood Cinerama Dome on "American Mall" night!

And this is no ordinary movie popcorn folks, this is Arclight Cinema popcorn and it’s fantastic! I guess it should be considering how expensive movies are at the Arclight, but wow, this stuff was so good we didn’t even share it. Nope, it was his and her’s popcorn all the way, baby!

I don’t think they did anything fancy to the free sodas — or even to the popcorn for that matter, maybe it just tasted better because it was free! Ha! — but after working up a sweat walking that half-a-block long red carpet, trust me…Coke never tasted so good!

So after mingling around a bit in the lobby with some of the rocking cast and crew, Christine and I took our seats — which were perfect, thank you MTV! — and watched “The American Mall” for the first time on that big-ass Cinerama Dome screen. And, whoa…let me tell ya…it looked and sounded awesome!

Christine and I have already watched the movie several times on DVD, but it looked pretty freaking incredible on that gigantic movie screen. Everything was so damn big that I noticed tons of stuff I’d never caught before, and watching it with an audience that laughed, clapped and cheered at all the right places was pretty groovy too.

All in all, it was kind of a magical night…and best of all, after the movie ended, we still had the after party to look forward too! So, yay!

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Red carpet madness @ “The American Mall”

No film studies class I ever took at San Francisco State or AFI could ever have prepared me for how totally insane it is to walk down a red carpet at the premiere of your first movie. Not only is it totally intense and nerve-wracking, but it is also one of the weirdest things I’ve ever done.

Christine and I likened it to our wedding. You spend all day getting ready — and in Christine’s case, several days as we had just returned from a work trip/shoe shopping expedition in San Francisco — worrying that you might be late or that you might die on your way to the event (I’m not kidding, I actually worried about that on Monday) and then you get there and are forced to smile your ass off for the next couple of hours.

I’m not complaining, because it was totally fun, and, frankly, as glamorous as life as a grubby old screenwriter gets, but wow, that shit is just not normal. Crazy…

On our wedding day I remember my cheeks actually hurting at the end of the night from smiling so much, and to tell you the truth, smiling on that red carpet was pretty much the exact same way.

You never knew who was filming what and which picture or live interview you might be stumbling into, so smiling was the only safe way to walk.

And even though the folks from “Access Hollywood” and “Extra” never asked us who we were “wearing” — or asked us anything for that matter — Christine and I smiled like movie stars (or, you know, a screenwriter and his wife from Burbank) the whole way down the red carpet.

And only at the very end of our jaunt down the plushly-carpeted sidewalk, as I paused to snap a quick pic of Christine’s super cool new shoes (thank you, Michael Kors!) did I stop to think about how very cool it was to be there.

I mean, wow, strange as it all was, it was still some kind of thrill! So, rock on, “American Mall” red carpet!

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“American Mall” night @ The Cinerama Dome!

Surreal as it may sound, tonight is the red-carpet premiere of my MTV musical, “The American Mall”. Wow, just typing the word “my” and “red-carpet premiere” in the same sentence is so totally bizarre. Crazy…

And to make matters even more surreal, the movie is screening tonight at the historic Cinerama Dome on Sunset Blvd. If you live in the L.A. area and haven’t been to this theatre, you are seriously missing out, man. Housed in a giant geodesic dome, the curved screen is crazy big and the sound is incredible.

Ironically enough, the last movie we saw at the Dome was also a musical. We saw “Evita” on New Year’s Eve back in 1996 and I swear to God, Madonna’s face was so gigantic on that towering screen that I almost threw up. Of course, we were sitting in the front row, so that didn’t help.

But wow, what a screen! The Cinerama Dome was built in 1963 to screen the studio’s burgeoning library of sweeping, wide-screen epics in all their glory. And though it has come close to closing a few times, the recent addition of the adjoining Arclight Cinemas guaranteed that audiences will be enjoying the enormity of the Cinerama Dome for years to come.

So, as Christine and I run out the door to do some last minute errands before the premiere — actually, she’s the only one with “last minute errands” like getting her hair done and stuff — and I practice not tripping over myself in my slippery-ass dress shoes, enjoy these vintage pics of the Dome…

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We heart Obama!

Musty old McCain and his cronies have been having a field day mocking the world media’s love affair with Barack Obama this week — even going so far as to create the strangest so-called “smear clip” ever — but all I gotta say to those blue-haired squares is…jealous much?

I mean, seriously, our country could use a little goodwill right now, and if it takes sending Jedi Master Obama on a Eva Peron-ish “Rainbow Tour” to get it…then rock on, black Evita! If you ask me, the Obama world tour kicks ass. I seriously cannot wait to read the paper every morning to see where he’s landing next…

So, while McCain struggles to generate some much-needed heat stateside, I think the rest of us should buy groovy logo t-shirts like the one pictured below and call it a day. Go, Obama!

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Abby’s Legendary Pizza, Grants Pass

Every time we head north to Christine’s hometown of Grants Pass, Oregon, there are two places we have to eat at. One is Millie’s Sandwich Shop on NE 7th Street and the other is Abby’s Legendary Pizza on Williams Highway. And since I somehow managed to not take pictures at Millie’s this year, I’ll tell you about Abby’s instead!

Not only is the food fresh, cheap and delicious, but the Abby’s we frequent even has an “old school” video game area in the back that used to house a super cool “Phantom Menace” pinball machine!

Sadly, the “Star Wars” pinball machine has moved on, but the memory of that strange pinball/video game hybrid and the rocking good pizza we enjoyed while playing it, lives on…seriously, I think about that game a lot!

Initially known as Abby’s Pizza Inn, the first Abby’s was founded in 1964 by former high-school classmates Albert Broughton and James Harrell — better known to their friends as Abby and Skinny — in nearby Roseburg, Oregon. Once word got out that these guys knew how to make some damn fine pizza, the legend of Abby’s grew to the 34 store chain that exists today.

And though you have to drive to Oregon or Washington to sample Abby’s, let me tell ya, it’s worth the trek. Though everything on the menu is fantastic, we always order the same thing, which I guess you could call the “founder’s special” since they are named for Abby and Skinny themselves.

My favorite is the Abby’s Special, which is your basic “works” pizza with black olives, fresh mushrooms, ground beef, pepperoni, salami and sausage. And Christine and the ladies generally favor the Skinny Special with Canadian Bacon and fresh tomatoes. I honestly cannot think of a more perfect pizza combination on your plate than these two pizza pies…this stuff is amazing.

But the real star of the show at Abby’s are the spuds. Nothing really more than silver-dollar-sized potato slices, the spuds are scattered on a pizza pan and served fresh out of the fryer with sides of ranch dressing. I know it sounds weird to eat even more starch with pizza, but man alive, these spuds make the meal!

Of course, we usually leave feeling a tad over-stuffed and in desperate need of some exercise, but hey…that’s what the video game area is for, right? Rock on, Abby’s Legendary Pizza!

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The Chenbot is not amused…

By now you’ve probably all seen this year’s list of Emmy nominees — if you haven’t, you can download the full list of nominees here — overall, this year’s crop was a pretty decent bunch. Glad to see smaller basic cable shows like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” swing a few major nominations, but at our house, the news was all about who was not nominated.

And no, I’m not talking about the extremely talented cast and crew of “The Riches” or the writers of “Lost”, but rather, the elegant Chinese robot that is “Big Brother” host Julie “Chenbot” Chen.

With the announcement earlier this year that the TV Academy was adding a Best Reality Host category, we thought for sure our beloved Chenbot was a lock for a nomination. Of course, we expected to hear the names, Jeff Probst, Heidi Klum, and even cheesy old Ryan Seacrest…but what no one expected was to hear the next two names on the list: Howie Mandel and Tom Bergeron?!

Are you kidding me? Have you seen their shows? The best things on both “Deal Or No Deal” and “Dancing with the Stars” have absolutely nothing to do with those two ham-fisted windbags! I mean, really, take them out of the equation and the shows are just as good, or, you know…bad…without them.

But “Big Brother” without the Chenbot is just a bunch of crazy, white trash drunkards trapped in a house with cameras. Now, I’m not saying I wouldn’t watch that show too, but a huge part of what makes “Big Brother” so awesomely watchable is that cool, shiny-haired Chenbot!

So…any way you look at it, our girl got straight-up robbed this week, yo!

I guess our only consolation is that the tenth season — yeah I said tenth, you got a problem with that Emmy voters?! — of “Big Brother” started last week, so that gives us all summer long to enjoy the strangely lifelike beauty of our favorite Chinese robot! And better yet, the show airs three nights a week…yah!

Emmy or not, long live the Chenbot!

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