Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Top 22 Favorite Movie

More challenging than I anticipated, particularly placing them in order. After brainstorming the list I gave each a score from 1-10. End up with one 10, seven 8s and the rest 7s. So I went back and ranked within the subgroups two more times to come up with the finished list:

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
2. Empire Strikes Back
3. Braveheart
4. Pulp Fiction
5. Raising Arizona
6. A River Runs Through It
7. Unforgiven
8. Sixth Sense
9. Star Wars
10. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
11. Beverly Hills Cop
12. Apollo 13
13. Usual Suspects
14. Shawshank Redemption
15. Trading Places
16. Spinal Tap
17. Ghostbusters
18. Stripes
19. The Rookie
20. Rear Window
21. Hunt for Red October
22. Die Hard

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Matrix

Screenwriter John August writes a mini-rant about Why the Matrix Trilogy Ultimately Blows. While I think everyone agrees that two and three really sucked, August's hypothesis from a screenwriting standpoint is interesting. Plus, on a meta level, it's always fun to see Hollywood types rip each other.

On a related note, my wife has asked me to create a list of my Top 20 favorite movies. No easy task. I'll post it as soon as I finish up.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Super Power

My seven-year-old daughter was reading a list of items she wrote about me in the car the other day. They included my name, favorite color, things like that. One of the items was "Super Power." For that, she put:

Dad.

Yep, made me smile. When your daughter thinks that your super power is "Dad" life is good.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Professional v. Amateur

Screenwriter John August, who wrote "Go", "Big Fish", "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Corpse Bride" (among other things), spoke last week at Trinity University on the topic "Professional Writing and the Rise of the Amateur." He's posted a the text on his website www.johnaugust.com.

Very interesting read. He has good advice for anyone that writes for a living. And frankly, don't we all in some capacity?

I can relate to this quote from his speech: "I kind of hate writing, but I love having written. I would rather do almost anything than sit down and write a scene. But having written it, then reading it back? Pure gravy."

His blog is always an interesting read. He talks about his projects and dishes advice to those interested in the screenwriting trade. I've learned a lot from his site and highly recommend a repeat visit after you've read the piece above.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Curious Guy

Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy at ESPN.com Page 2, has a great interview with author Malcolm Gladwell, he of Tipping Point and Blink. It's part one of two.

It's part of his reoccuring "Curious Guy" bit where he emails back and forth with interesting people. This one is really good. Gladwell easily applies phenomena from sports situations to real life and vice versa. It is quite interesting to read.

Quote that Simmons throws out there about a third of the way through:

"Being a professional is doing your job on the days you don't feel like doing it." David Halberstam

That one really hits home with regard to my "professional" life right now.