Tag Archives: musical

“The American Mall” hits stores!

Sorry for not writing in a while, have been kind of crazy busy this week…working on the “American Mall” sequel, watching Olympics, and of course trolling around local stores looking for the best price on “American Mall” DVDs.

I know, I know, is there anything geekier than someone posing for pics behind a DVD display case at Sears? Probably not, but hey, how often am I gonna get a chance to do that?? I mean, come on!

Also hit up a gigantic Blockbuster Video on the Westside (see pic above) and to my delight, there was only one copy of “Mall” left on the shelf to rent…at noon! Wow…someone is renting my movie in Santa Monica!

Anyway, the DVD is for sale everywhere right now and though I recommend snapping up the Special Two Disc Edition at Sears — on sale for $12.99 through 8/16, and $19.99 after that — I did just find out that MTV.com has the standard Extended Edition DVD available for the low, low price of $2.79.

Yep, for the price of a corndog at the mall, you can own “The American Mall” on DVD. Somewhere the retail Gods are smiling…

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“The American Mall” airs tonight!

I’m sure I don’t have to remind you guys — after promoting the crap out of it for months now! — but my movie, “The American Mall”, finally airs tonight on MTV at 9:00PM. So, check it out!

And if for some reason you forget to Tivo it, no worries, because tomorrow, August 12th, “The American Mall” soundtrack and DVD go on sale online and in stores nationwide. I’m buying my copy at Sears of course, but I did scope out the Sunday supplements and Circuit City has the best price of the bunch. They are selling the DVD and the soundtrack as a combo for $20. Not bad!

Anyway, I gotta go “get my rock on” right now. Hope you dig the movie!

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More shamless-self promotion…

After waking up this morning to find out that my ugly mug was appearing on the front pages of not just one newspaper, but two, all I can say is: wow, it must have been a slow news day in Burbank and Santa Cruz. Ha!

Seriously, I knew there would be a couple of Tomás-centric “American Mall” articles appearing soon, but I had no idea they would come out on the same day and both be on the front page. Crazy!

And while I haven’t seen the article from my hometown newspaper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, in person, I did receive an awesome scanned copy of the article from my Dad and it looked cool. Thanks, Dad! And it sounds like my friend Ginger — who is actually quoted in the article! — has secured me a goodly amount of Sentinels as well, so, I think I’m covered.

And I think I’m pretty good on the local front as well. After reading the Burbank Leader about twenty times this morning, Christine and I spent the rest of the afternoon snatching up free copies of the paper from news racks around town. She drove, and I jumped out and grabbed Leaders from every rack we passed. We were the Bonnie and Clyde of stolen local newspapers, but we had a blast.

Speaking of fun, the pics here were taken in front of this strangely futuristic video kiosk at the Burbank Town Center which was playing “TAM” previews of a loop. So, naturally, while hitting the mall with my brother on Friday, I forced him to take these spectacularly nerdy picture of me in front of it.

You can imagine the stares we got as Ryan and I stood there waiting for the kiosk to cycle through the ads for GNC and Forever 21. Seriously, I’m kinda surprised no one called Mall Security…we must have looked so creepy just lurking there with our cameras at the ready. Yikes…

Anyway, the good news is, we got the pics! So, enjoy. Oh yeah, and before getting to the actual article links, I gotta give a huge shout out to my boy, James for writing the juicy little press release that made all this shameless self-promotion possible to begin with. You rock, dude!

You can check out the Santa Cruz Sentinel article here: “Harbor High Graduate debuts show on MTV”, and the Burbank Leader piece here: “From malls to MTV”. And don’t forget to watch the actual movie this Monday night, August 11th, at 9:00pm on MTV. Rock on!

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“American Mall” cookies!

Just realized that I never posted my pictures of the amazing “American Mall” cookies that Christine and I had at the post premiere party last week at the Cabana Club. Sorry…

As I think I mentioned more than a couple time, those big-ass sugar cookies were one of the culinary highlights of the evening. And the fact that they tasted as good as they looked made them even more enjoyable.

So, a big shout out to Jedi Master Melody Brandon for creating such beautiful edible art for the bash! You rock, Melody. And if you’re curious to see how Melody made such super cool baked goods, check out her rocking step-by-step photo gallery at mysweetandsaucy.com.

I only wish my jacket had more pockets so we could have smuggled more of those delicious cookies home with us…yum!

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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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“American Mall” desktop wallpapers @ the Arrive Lounge!

Hoorah! Remember that Sears Arrive Lounge I told you about a couple posts back? Well, it is fully operational and though you can’t order clothes there yet, you can explore the newest clothing collections by LL Cool J and “High School Musical” star Vanessa Hudgens! Wow…who knew they had clothing lines?

And even though “The American Mall” clothes don’t seem to be shown yet, you can download desktop wallpapers featuring four of the characters from the movie. You don’t have to use them as wallpapers on every computer in your house — like we did! — but they are still pretty fun, so, check them out on the Arrive Lounge downloads page.

Our favorites are the two Joey downloads, but I also really dig Penny and Ally’s as well. And of course, you gotta love nerdy old Ben kicking it old-school in that striped polo. In the movie Ben is mostly stuck wearing his bright yellow Weinerland food court uniform, so, I’m sure the change was a welcome one!

Anyway, even if back-to-school shopping is a thing from your distant…and I mean distant…past, the Arrive Lounge is still pretty cool. So, check it out!

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“The American Mall” posters!

If anyone out there happened to catch the Mike Meyer’s-hosted MTV Movie Awards last night, you might have caught a couple of trailers for my upcoming MTV musical “The American Mall”. I wrote the first draft of the original screenplay while I was still in film school at AFI, so to have it finally coming out now is kind of crazy exciting!

Produced by the guys who exec-produced the “High School Musical” movies, “The American Mall” is set to air on MTV on Monday, August 11th @ 9PM, followed the next day by the DVD and original soundtrack release online and at Wal-Mart stores nationwide.

So, mark your calendars, and in the meantime, enjoy these rocking “Mall” posters I found on the movie’s official site at: www.theamericanmall.com.

Not sure yet if the DVD’s will have three different covers or not, but if they do, I like the orange one best. The bad-ass on that cover is the villainous Madison Huxley character and though I totally dig the posters featuring Ally and Joey too, I think Madison’s is the most dramatic. So, rock on mean girl!

Oh yeah, and if you squint really hard, you can almost make out my “story by” credit on the bottom of the poster. If I find a higher resolution pic somewhere, I’ll post it soon, but for now…enjoy!

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Tim Burton’s “Sweeney Todd”

Finally saw Tim Burton’s rocking version of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” over the weekend and let me tell ya, it’s bloody good…emphasis on the bloody. Seriously, I haven’t seen this much spraying, operatic bloodletting since the first volume of “Kill Bill”, and that time, the bloodiest scenes were in black and white.

Well, not so here, amigos. Tim Burton’s bright, comic-book-red blood flows freely and often…and it couldn’t be cooler!

Johnny Depp as “Sweeney Todd” (Dec. 19, 2007)

Save for the standards “Pretty Women” and “Not While I’m Around” — which are way darker in the context of the show than they are as stand-alone songs — I wasn’t that familiar with the original musical, but wow, it’s good. Christine found some of the numbers a bit stagey and claustrophobic, but I really dug the musty intimacy of it all.

Set in and around a gloomy, beautifully dank Victorian London, the movie and the songs are as dark as can be. And while the ads make it look like quirky, Tim Burton-lite, this movie is one of the darkest things he’s done in a while.

I found the songs and humor to be funny as hell, but I should warn the uninitiated that this “Sweeney Todd” is not for the feint of heart.

Johnny Depp singing in “Sweeney Todd” (Dec. 19, 2007)
Anchoring the movie and proving once again that he can do almost anything onscreen, the always-astonishing Johnny Depp rocks in his first full-blown musical. Ditto for “Borat’s” Sasha Baron Cohen (as Depp’s hysterically oily rival, Pirelli), Alan Rickman as the villainous Judge Turpin, and the incredible little boy who plays Toby (newcomer Ed Sanders).
Johnny Depp & Helena Bonham Carter in “Sweeney Todd” (Dec. 19, 2007)

But fans of the musical know that the dark heart of the show has always been that wily scene-stealer, Mrs. Lovett.

I read somewhere that Stephen Soundheim loved her character so much that he actually demanded (and got!) final approval for the casting of Mrs. Lovett. And though Helena Bonham Carter wasn’t the best singer he auditioned, she was by far the best actress. And lemme tell ya, Soundheim was right. Helena Bonham Carter is spectacular in the role.

I’ve been a huge fan since I first saw her in “A Room With A View” and Carter has continued to amaze me ever since. If you haven’t seen her in “Fight Club” you haven’t lived. Not only did she blow Brad Pitt and Ed Norton off the screen, but her twisted, manic performance as Marla Singer is one of the great screen characters of the 1990’s. Really amazing stuff!

Helena Bonham Carter in “Sweeney Todd” (Dec. 19, 2007)

Here again, Ms. Carter — who gave birth Saturday to her second child, a daughter, with Tim Burton — rips into a really juicy part with a vengeance. And like her co-stars, I’m happy to report that Carter’s singing here is top notch. More traditionally Broadway-ish than Johnny Depp’s rock-infused vocals, Carter’s scrappy, Cockney-accented singing really steals the show.

And though the content of her “meat pies” would turn even my hearty stomach, I gotta say if Carter’s saucy Mrs. Lovett was selling them…I’d be the first in line!

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