Tag Archives: TV movies

Trailer Thursday: “Sharktopus”

Wait…did I just say summer was over? Well, hold up, amigos. Because after watching this hilarious, awesomely-bad trailer for the new Sy-Fy Original movie “Sharktopus” (airing Saturday, September 25th @ 9:00PM) I must say that the end of summer can surely wait another week.

Other than that it was produced by Roger Corman and stars Eric Roberts, I don’t have a clue what the storyline is here, but, I gotta tell ya, I don’t care…they had me at the title. And that theme song?? OMG, don’t get me started, I’m already making space on our shelf for the soundtrack. “Sharktopus” 4eva!

2 Comments

Filed under See

Debbie Gibson vs. Tiffany!

OMG, someone has hacked into my dreams and stolen one of my passion projects! How else could you explain the fact that my favorite 1980’s-era teen-pop princesses, Tiffany and Deborah “you’ll always be Debbie to me, chica” Gibson will be facing off in an upcoming movie on The SyFy Network?

That’s right, amigos, the two hottest “singers” of the 80’s are gonna face off in a SyFy Saturday Night Movie entitled “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid”. Yes, that is the actual title…but wait, it gets even more awesome. This is the outline of the film’s plot as revealed in yesterday’s Hollywood Reporter:

‘Gibson will play a fanatical animal-rights activist who frees illegally-imported exotic snakes from pet stores, sending them into the Everglades, where they grow to mega sizes. Tiffany will play an overzealous park ranger who uses dangerous methods to save endangered alligators. In the script, the pair brawl at a party, then take matters outside into the swamp.’

Wow…in my version they faced off in a mall, but a swamp totally works for me too. Seriously, I’m so excited about this thing, I’m setting my Tivo as I type. Awesome! And to the creators of what just might be the coolest TV movie ever, you’re welcome…and please stop hacking into my dreams.

7 Comments

Filed under See

Brittany Murphy (1977-2009)

Wow…I know this is kind of old news by now, but we’re both still really, really sad about the sudden death of Brittany Murphy on Sunday at the age of 32. Like most people we fell in love with her in “Clueless”, but “Girl, Interrupted” was the movie that really showed us what that little powerhouse could do.

I mean, whoa…if you ask me, they gave the Oscar to the wrong crazy girl at the institution that year. Angelina Jolie was great and showy/crazy enough to take home the gold, but Murphy was the real time bomb in that movie. She was like, scary good…and those chickens under her bed? Yikes!

And though I loved her in the deeply-flawed “8 Mile” and some of her fluffier fare over the years — my Mom was just recently raving about a movie of hers called “The Ramen Girl” which I am now dying to see — I gotta say, my favorite Brittany Murphy “role” was her voice work as Luanne Platter on FOX’s long-running animated series, “King of the Hill”.

All of the voice actors were amazing on “Hill”, but Murphy’s Luanne was always my favorite. In lesser hands, Luanne coulda been a stereotypical dumb blonde, but Murphy imbued her with such heart and genuine emotion that you really rooted for her, no matter how far off track she went.

I know Luanne was a cartoon character, but, in Murphy’s gifted hands, she seemed so real and annoying that sometimes you just wanted to slap her silly…or kiss her, or, you know, both. I know that sounds crazy, but, Luanne was a very complicated character…so, back off.

Anyway, I’m sure the tabloids will have a field day with the finer details of Murphy’s tragically short life and untimely death, but all I know is that I’m bummed she won’t be around to make any more movies.

Hell, Christine and I liked Brittany Murphy so damn much that we even Tivo-ed (and watched!) the “Nora Roberts Collection 2009” TV movie she did on Lifetime this past summer, “Tribute”.

The movie kinda sucked, but Murphy, as always, kinda rocked. And if that’s not a sign of someone with true star wattage, then I don’t what is. Rest in peace, sweet, beautiful, Brittany Murphy…we’ll miss you.

1 Comment

Filed under See

Simon Baker is “Not Forgotten” by Emmy voters!

I know, I know…more shameless self-promotion. But, hey, having the lead actor from your first movie nab an Best Actor Emmy nomination never hurt anyone, and if Simon Baker’s nomination for “The Mentalist” gets even one more person to buy a “Not Forgotten” DVD when it comes out on October 6th, well, then, thank you very much, Emmy voters!

Simon Baker in NOT FORGOTTEN

The rest of the nominees — with the exception of the animated “Family Guy” scoring a rare nod in the Best Comedy Series category — were pretty much business as usual. I swear to God, if I hear some of those same old names announced again I think I might just stop watching TV altogether. Yikes…

That said, I was glad to see the very deserving “Big Love” finally score a Drama Series nod, and it was cool to see “Flight of the Conchords” nominations all over the place, who woulda guessed that one? And even though we stopped watching “Breaking Bad” out of solidarity with a friend of ours last season, it was very cool to see the show in the top slot for the first time and even cooler to see Aaron Paul score a nomination for Supporting Actor, Drama. Rock on, Mr. Paul!

We have not seen “Grey Gardens” yet, but, I hear it’s very good and was happy for Drew Barrymore and the rest of the cast for their scads of nominations as well. Oh, and speaking of TV movies, Sigourney Weaver rocked in Lifetime’s “Prayers For Bobby”, so was very pleased to see both her and the film score nominations.

Drew Barrymore in GREY GARDENS

Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange in GREY GARDENS

Was mostly pleased with the writing nods as well, especially the nomination for “Lost” scribes Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse for their amazing work on the season finale, “The Incident”. And am always happy to see Michael Emerson nominated for playing creepy-ass Ben, but was very disappointed that more of his “Lost” castmates didn’t make the cut. I mean, hello, Elizabeth Mitchell’s “death” scene in “The Incident” episode was some of the finest acting the show has ever seen…seriously, blondie got robbed!

And though I was sad to see “The American Mall” shut out of the Original Music and Lyrics nominations in favor of two songs from award shows (!) I gotta say, the hilarious “Motherlover” song from “SNL” is sure to take home the gold. That shit was hilarious!

And finally, we were very sad to see “ER” almost totally shut out in it’s last season, County General deserved better, yo. And though Christine and I were both seriously bummed that the totally cinematic “Southland” failed to score a single nod for it’s very deserving writers and cast, we’ll take comfort in the Best Actress nomination for Christina Applegate for “Samantha Who?”.

Michael Emerson on LOST

Elizabeth Mitchell on LOST

I know it’s canceled (stupid ABC!) but “Samantha” was one of our favorite shows of late…fantastic writing, hilarious cast, and very sweet to boot! If you haven’t seen this show, you must run out to rent the DVD’s when they come out. Seriously, you will never stop smiling.

Love to hear what shows you guys are rooting for, so, check out the complete list of Emmy nominees here and comment away! Oh yeah, and just for the record, the Chenbot was cruelly snubbed again for Best Reality Show host! Crazy, huh? But Padma Lakshmi did score a nod in the same category for “Top Chef”, so that definitely lessened the blow…

1 Comment

Filed under See

“The Christmas Shoes”

OK, if you read my last post, you have some idea of how much Christine and I love Christmas music — at last count we had upwards of 50 Christmas CD’s in our collection! — and as far as holiday tunes go, the cheesier the song, the better!

And our favorite cheesy Christmas song ever is the crazy-sad “The Christmas Shoes” by NewSong. If you haven’t heard the song, it hinges on a little boy meeting up with a stranger at a department store on Christmas eve. The boy is trying to buy some shiny Christmas shoes for his dying mother, who has hours to live, so that she looks pretty when she meets Jesus later that night in heaven. I know…sad, huh? Well, grab some Kleenex, amigos, because it gets way better…

THE CHRISTMAS SHOES #1

So, the kid is paying for the shoes when he realizes he doesn’t have enough money. At this point in the song, a choir of angelic children’s voices chime in as the boy asks the stranger in line behind him if he can borrow some money to buy the shoes. His heart breaking, the stranger ponies up the cash and the boy hurries off to give the shoes to his Mom.

Now, if you’re not crying by the end of this song, well, maybe you just don’t cry. But, as far as Christine and I are concerned…bring on the waterworks! Seriously, we tear up every time it plays on KOST, and they play that thing day and night during the holidays, so we do a lot of weeping around here.

Anyway, while we have been huge fans of the song for a couple of years now, Christine and I recently learned that there was a CBS TV movie made from the song back in 2002. And when we heard that our favorite TV movie hambones, Rob Lowe and Kimberly Williams were the stars, well, how could we miss it?

So, last week we finally caught the movie on Lifetime, and, well, let’s just say it pales in comparison to the song. I mean, Rob Lowe is OK and a wheezing, coughing Kimberly Williams acts her pretty little heart out beneath a ton of “sick lady” make-up, but the rest of the cast is downright awful.

Peppered with a C-level supporting cast — apparently the producers blew all their cash on Lowe and Williams — the movie is painfully bad, even by Lifetime movie standards. Our Tivo missed the first hour of the movie, but since all we were concerned with was seeing the song brought vividly to life onscreen, and that all happened at the end, we were cool.

But, wow, the way they dramatized the song was just plain lame. I mean, God bless him, Rob Lowe tries him damnedest to give his lifeless, boring character some flava, but the boy playing Williams’ kid is one lousy little actor. Sorry, but, man alive, I can cry better on cue than that kid! Yikes…

THE CHRISTMAS SHOES DVD cover

The real kicker to the climactic scene, however, is the actor playing the department store cashier. This dude is so mean to the little boy that it almost ruins the good memory of the song. I mean, hello, I don’t remember any lyrics about the cashier being a prick! But in the movie, he belittles the kid — actually barking out the words: “Do I stutter?” when the kid asks him to repeat the price — for not having enough money and then tells him to come back after Christmas when “We’ll be giving [the shoes] away”. Huh? I know he didn’t just make fun of that boy’s dying momma shoes! Mean!

I think our biggest complaint, however, was the fact that they didn’t play the song nearly enough for our tastes. The song is the reason the movie was made, and a few wimpy refrains here or there is not enough, man. If I was directing that thing, that song would be all over the last few minutes of the movie.

Of course, we both still totally cried when the boy slipped the shoes on Williams’ giant feet — no kidding, that chick has clown feet, they’re huge! — but, overall, this movie sucked big time. Shockingly, CBS actually made a sequel in 2005 entitled “The Chistmas Blessing”. Wow…who knew?

In the sequel, Neil Patrick Harris plays the now-adult kid and Rob Lowe reprises his role as the money-lender with the Christmas spirit. Normally, we’d be all over that shit, but, having suffered through the first movie, I don’t know if we can stomach a sequel…sorry, Doogie.

So, if you’re craving some weepy, classic holiday cheese this season, I’d say stick to “The Christmas Shoes” song instead. Or better yet, check out “The Christmas Shoes” music video here. Using footage from the movie, the video is the perfect way to experience this song in all it’s awesomely sad glory. Enjoy!

1 Comment

Filed under Hear, See

“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…

2 Comments

Filed under See

“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┬áhas 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!

8 Comments

Filed under See

“The American Mall” billboards

OK, I know I probably sound like the world’s most self-involved goober right now, but after doing some business in Hollywood yesterday, I actually drove around looking for “American Mall” billboards.

I had heard from my brother Ryan and my friend Patty that there were several buses driving around greater Los Angeles with “American Mall” posters on them — Ryan said he even had the oddly surreal thrill of seeing my name scroll into view outside the window of the El Pollo Loco where he was eating breakfast! Ha! — but until yesterday I had not seen any of these posters for myself.

So, like all first-time screenwriters, I cruised Sunset Blvd. stalking buses and looking for billboards for my new movie. And to my amazement, I actually found three gigantic billboards within a few blocks of one another in the heart of downtown Hollywood.

The easiest one to spot was towering over a shockingly-clean Mobil gas station on the corner of Sunset and LaBrea. This was also the easiest billboard to take pictures of as they had a parking lot…yeah!

Next up was a billboard perched way up high on an office tower near Sunset and Las Palmas. This one was harder to shoot as I had to hurriedly park in a red zone, ignore the glaring Cholo gangbangers at the bus stop nearby and snap away. Yikes…don’t try this at home.

And finally, the last billboard I found on my adventure was placed right on top of a really lovely little “rooms-by-the-hour” motel about half a block from Las Palmas. Kind of a seedy locale for a squeaky-clean poster like ours, but hey, at least they had a parking lot!

So, as the mumbling homeless couple on the corner stared at me like I was crazy, I just smiled and thought to myself…hey, if you squint real hard, you can almost see my name! Yeah!

9 Comments

Filed under See

“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!

17 Comments

Filed under Do, See

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!

1 Comment

Filed under Eat, See

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!

6 Comments

Filed under Do, See