busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Saturday, February 8, 2020

    What should and will win the Oscars 2020 

    BEST PICTURE
    Who should win: Jojo Rabbit
    Who will win: Once Upon a Time In… Hollywood

    LEAD ACTOR
    Who should and will win: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

    LEAD ACTRESS
    Who should and will win: Renée Zellweger, Judy

    SUPPORTING ACTOR
    Who should win: Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
    Who will win: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time In… Hollywood

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS
    Who should and will win: Laura Dern, Marriage Story

    DIRECTOR
    Who should win: Sam Mendes, 1917
    Who will win: Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

    ANIMATED FEATURE
    Who should win: Klaus
    Who will win: Toy Story 4

    ANIMATED SHORT
    Who should win: Memorable
    Who will win: Hair Love

    ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
    Who should win: Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi
    Who will win: The Two Popes, Anthony McCarten

    ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
    Who should win: It should be a five-way tie.
    Who will win: Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach

    CINEMATOGRAPHY
    Who should and will win: Roger Deakins, 1917

  2. Wednesday, January 29, 2020

    had a very good day with amber today 

    it was her day off

    but it was not mine. so for a long time in the day i was working on getting this kobe bryant piece up.

    and fine tuning it, and reworking it.

    still when it published there were typos.

    of course.

    then we had to jet across over to the Grove to interview a bunch of people.

    that was not as easy as you think, but when people open up incredible things come out, so you dont need that many to talk to you.

    just enough did.

    and i learned that the oldest toy store in LA is in the Farmer’s Market,

    and it’s beautifully stocked.

    dude told me Nerf basketball is still very popular at his store.

    then we went to in n out to have a cheap date nite

    then we came home because i had to upload the pics from the Grove and do stuff with the audio,

    and then i transcribed a few from another outing

    then we drove over to CityWalk because i wanted to see Ford versus Ferrari because it was nominated for Best Picture

    and I think Christian Bale was nominated and maybe Matt Damon too,

    who knows but it started at 9:50pm so we went

    learned an interesting thing, at that late hour they don’t charge you for parking.

    saved $5 right there!

    the movie was ok. nothing special. i mean i enjoyed learning a little about Shelby and Lee Iacocoa

    and Les Mans

    but whatever, glad i saw it, Adam Sandler was robbed.

    then i came home and did a bunch more transcribing.

    amber and i had a wonderful time hanging out together, something we rarely get to do it seems

    and it was great.

    i circled the date on the calendar

    and put a star on it

  3. Sunday, December 29, 2019

    saw uncut gems last night 

    it was incredible.

    top three movies i saw in 2019

    the black godfather
    uncut gems
    shazam

    i dont know why but shazam really got me.

    but all i thought about today was uncut gems.

    it was classic college of creative studies: be truthful, create likable characters, put them through the wringer, see what happens

    amber hated it. half america hates it. but almost all the critics love it.

    as you can see from the high ranking i gave shazam, one would think that i usually side with the audience, that may be true. who knows. i thought parasite was overrated.

    and once upon a time in hollywood.

    weirder crazier shit has gone down in hollywood and there is no need to make any of it up.

    weirder shit goes down on my block.

    i also loved booksmart, longshot, joker and aladdin.

    i went to 40 movies this year. next year i wanna make it 52.

    trying to figure out how to see 1917 tomorrow.

     

  4. Saturday, November 2, 2019

    i went to a climate strike protest rally yesterday 

    i learned a lot. mostly that we are in good hands. also, those hands wont have a chance to save us if we dont save us first.

    then i learned about this japanese grocery store in DTLA that has really good pre-made sushi for cheap.

    we watched little kids annoy pigeons with their toy helicopters

    we watched a couple of gay guys have a romantic lunch sharing a beer and feeding edamame to each other.

    then we went to the movies and saw a really good biopic about Harriet Tubman

    i wish it was better. something was missing. maybe the cinematography? i cant put my finger on it.

    theres fires burning all around us. proof that sprawl hasn’t completely done its dirty work.

    theres still wilderness, which is nice, but now its charred, for many reasons.

    a couple of recycling places caught fire, hard to believe that just naturally occurred.

    i wonder about God, when he looks down on us, does he cry sometimes?

    like can he just not help to?

    then today around noon, a 15 minute rain shower just happened out of the blue.

    and i was all, me too, angels.

    moi aussi.

  5. Sunday, October 6, 2019

    saw the joker and i nodded off a few times 

    totally fell asleep during ad astra too.

    heres why.

    i have a dream job right now for me.

    and im doing all i can because its like being on Supermarket Sweep

    if you could keep everything, and you knew where everything was,

    and everyone else is just running around putting 2 hams in there and some boxes of cereal.

    PUT FIVE HAMS IN THERE FOOL!

    i stayed awake for most of Joker but my body was all, oh we get to rest right now? good. zzzz.

    and i’ll see it again because there were lots of it that i liked, the cinematography, the direction

    the score. omg the fucking score. so good.

    and sure Joaquin was great. he’s always great. crazy people make perfect musicians and actors.

    artists probs too, who knows.

    but if i had directed him in this i would have turned the dial down, like a lot.

    a scary loud person is scary, but a scary quiet person

    or better yet, one with dynamics,

    now that can be terrifying.

    let him snap a few times.

    nirvana learned from the pixies who learned it from babies: LOUD quiet LOUD.

    let your character be happy and free and Loud. then break him. quiet.

    quieter still.

    and then a LOUD breakthrough happens. and if it’s an anti hero like Joker

    you can either make him loud loud loud like lots of people do

    or you can make him manic and unpredictable.

    the easiest pitch to fool a batter on is a changeup.

    everything a professional hitter learns on his climb to the big leagues is how to hit the fastball,

    so throw him 5 or six of them

    and then plop that slowball at him and watch him land on his ass.

    a quiet plotting, sinister laugh is better than a booming one

    although to be honest his laughter was really great.

    joaquin is a dream and we should feel lucky to have him,

    which is why i’ll see this again.

    when maybe im used to this gig a lil more.

  6. Wednesday, June 26, 2019
  7. Friday, May 31, 2019

    zero hour nine am 

    there is so much to like about Rocket Man, the sorta musical about Elton John’s life and career

    and very little not to like: perfectly fine acting, singing, visuals

    but something seemed missing.

    maybe because we know how it ends

    maybe because it just seems like the standard old rock and roll story:

    unloved kid succeeds at sex drugs rock. or does he?

    in fictional films theres a lot more at stake, more dynamic highs and lows.

    even at his lowest it seems glamorous and fabulous and luxurious.

    this is exactly my sort of movie: rock bios. and i learned a lot.

    and hats off to Taron Egerton who looked, sounded, and even walked just like Elton.

    one thing that was weird and sort of similar to last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody:

    just like how they omitted the story of the inclusion of David Bowie for the hit “Under Pressure,” there was no mention of John’s good friend Princess Diana.

     

  8. Tuesday, May 28, 2019

    but can your friends do this 

    saw two movies the last two days that i thought were great: booksmart and aladdin

    booksmart is olivia wilde’s directorial debut and it’s perfect

    aladdin is disney trying to remake the unremakable and like magic they pulled it off

    whats a little bit sad is booksmart is a little bit better than aladdin but in three weeks it’ll probably be pulled from theaters because of everything else coming down the pipeline

    we saw aladdin tonight in a sold out imax theater in burbank and people were clapping and cheering and so was i and when i got home i saw that critics only gave it 57% on rotten tomatoes, while audiences gave it a 94.

    i never want to be that disconnected from my audience. i never want to be so hung up on minor stumbles when what you just accomplished was unasked-for, impossible and sacrilege

    and yet it entertained families of all ages.

    maybe the problem is many of these critics dont see the movies on their own dime in hometown theaters sitting next to the butcher the baker and the cbd maker. sold out 930pm showing on a tuesday. will smith the only name you know on the poster? that right there is something.

    it was bollywood it was hollywood and i probably saw more brown faces the a screen than ever in my life that didnt take place is wakanda. and it was beautiful.

    when i was a kid i was sent to this summer camp in washington dc that really had an affect on my life. when we werent playing sports we were studying the bible or riding fast through the woods in a station wagon with its roof cut off at high speeds by a jesuit priest driver.

    but when we were playing sports it was all trash talk. id never experienced anything like that in the suburbs of illinois. the play by play was a bombardment of insults darted at any and all weakness they could find.

    yo suburbs with the ball. white boy point guard. whattya gonna do. WHITE. BOY. you look scared as shit.

    we were 10.

    these black kids my age from baltimore could do anything with the ball. comfortable in the tiny gym so small that the end walls were barely an inch past the baseline. they had a rule that if you dribbled, planted your foot on the wall (technically out of bounds). lifted off and slammed it home, then it counted.

    their version of dunking.

    i could barely touch the net no matter how you got me up there and half these kids were basically dunking. on you.

    8 hours every day in the muggy, summer heat of DC with these trash talking, aggressive, athletic all stars and you could either completely collapse emotionally, like i saw a bunch of kids do, or level up.

    i began first with language. i knew i wasn’t going to be able to speak how they did without looking like an absolute faker, so i insulted their grammar. constantly. even though i loved it.

    and despite being years behind them on the basketball court, we matched up well in soccer, baseball, tennis and fencing. imagine driving by and seeing 60 black kids fencing in a field. all of us dissing each other behind those masks, seconds away from actually fighting.

    but one thing we all had respect for was attempting the impossible.

    whether it be fighting the biggest, meanest dudes at the end of the day – the brothers made every kid who started a fight during the day, box their foe at the end of the day, in a giant circle that we all made in the gym before the st anthony prayer.

    or making an incredible play on the field,

    or making an amazing move on someone before scoring.

    even if you hated the kid and he was on the other team, if he pulled off something remarkable, you said something like damn g. or ok, money. i dont remember making any friends there. it was us versus everyone all day. but we respected each other.

    once they put us in a van and drove to this public swimming pool. half the kids didnt know how to swim at the beginning of summer, but everyone could swim by the end of it, in part because of all the new insults some of the boys had to endure. a few lanes were set aside just for races. i remember zero parental supervision. just the loudest boy saying something like, yo, get the fuck outta these two lanes. i’m up, who wanna race me for a Now Or Later in the cantina?

    the camp had a snack bar called the cantina, but you had to pay, and a lot of these kids were poor so they were always trying to bet with those of us whose parents had put money in our accounts. it was never a good idea to try to avoid a reasonable wager.

    there were hold your breath underwater competitions, diving contests and cannonball contests. everything was a game. everyone needed to win. miracles happened. just like in life.

    but just like on the field, in the pool if someone did something incredible, even if you hated them, like this fat guy who intentionally did a bellyflop off the high dive, you had to give him props. and we did. and we hated them a little less.

    aladdin pulled off the impossible on the biggest stage and the critics need to say so.

    and yr girl olivia wilde made an instant classic high school comedy

    which is also impossible

    and for that she deserves love.

  9. Tuesday, May 7, 2019

    dear posterity 

    because nothing in here is true, it’s tough, sometimes, when looking back through this blog to figure out *exactly* what is going on in my life.

    so i will tell you that i am in excellent health, knock wood,

    i have a lovely girlfriend who lives with me and my two cats, Prince & Michael, here in East Hollywood

    i am surrounded by amazing friends, most of whom i have known from college or the various jobs ive had

    i am currently unemployed living on savings (always save for a rainy day, Cub fans)

    even though i have been super qualified for several jobs ive applied for, for some reason they haven’t made it past the first interview phase.

    i have two or three good possibilities out there. it’s gonna happen.  I should just clean my apartment and enjoy this time off but to be honest i am a bit worried, in part, because i couldn’t have been more perfect for some of these gigs.

    i have a friend who wrote me the other day to tell me that agism is real and he is feeling it too. but i dont believe thats the case for me. i have an amazing track record. the companies i work for almost always do well when im there. hell even the giants went to the playoffs the year i sold beer there.

    i truly believe that Hearts have been Hardened so that i would be available for the Perfect next gig, and this waiting game was so i would appreciate that job even more than i would have normally appreciated it.

    anyways posterity, right now there is this thing called Movie Pass that lets you go to the theater every day and see a movie for just $10 a month. most theaters participate in it. so today i saw the Aretha Franklin doc “Amazing Grace” at the NoHo 7.

    by 1972, aretha had nearly a dozen huge hits under her belt and even though she was raised by a famous detroit pastor and learned to sing in the church, she hadn’t recorded a gospel album since her debut when she was 14.

    she flew to Watts and knocked out Amazing Grace over two nights in what was a small movie theater that had recently been converted to a Baptist church. Sidney Pollock, a decade before he directed “Tootsie” was roaming around with a camera, two of the Rolling Stones were lurking in the back row (and eventually made their way up front) but all eyes were on the 29 year old Lady Soul.

    she was backed by three rows of gospel singers, a rhythm section, including a dude on congas, and her dad’s former musical director on piano.

    the story on how the film finally got released is epic on its own. apparently Pollock made a rookie mistake by not using the clapper between songs so they could sync the cameras with the audio, so the unedited footage sat and sat in the Warner Bros vaults until this dude mortgaged his house to buy the reels so he could edit them.

    once he did, Aretha fought him for 8 years to keep it from being seen.

    which is bizarre because when the double record was released in ’72, it was a smash hit. not just Aretha’s biggest album in her career, but the best selling gospel record of all time.

    why didn’t she want the movie out there?

    all these critics today are falling over themselves about how it’s one of the greatest music docs of all time. but they’re not being honest. it’s historic, no doubt. it’s a fine document of two nights in South Central LA when a legendary artist sang so well that her mentor had to sit down and cry in the middle of the title track.

    but it doesn’t tell the story.

    we don’t learn why she chose to leave her beloved Detroit to come to the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church for this record. why are the Stones there? where’s Keef? why are there so many empty seats? why does Aretha barely talk? who are these musicians? why these songs?

    something tells me the doc about the doc would be way more interesting, but seeing how tough it was to just release this, i doubt The Making Of would come around any time soon.

    i love music documentaries more than any other genre. you should have seen the smile on my face when it began. but halfway through i was struggling to stay awake. it was beautiful music but nothing was happening visually. i was bored – which is hard to do with such inspirational music.

    i gave it a B but listened to the record all night.

    amber and i took a long walk.

    shes a good girl.

    im lucky.

     

  10. Friday, May 3, 2019

    shout out to amber, our personal superstar 

    two years ago she was working at an easily forgettable hotel off ventura blvd.

    she was their front desk agent of the month one month.

    one day she texted me and said, i love these people but i gotta get out of here.

    and shared with me stories of one valley drama after another.

    i told her, the waldorff just opened in beverly hills, im sure theyd love all the skills you’ve learned there and elsewhere.

    she was all, LOL, doubt it, they’re really fancy, but ok i’ll try.

    and boom she was hired as a personal concierge.

    first they put her on the grueling overnight shift. she shined. helped some famous people that are household names, who loved her. and then they placed her in the early morning shift.

    some days she stood at the front door for hours opening it and saying hi hi hi hi, other days she was on the phones, sometimes she was the bellperson carrying people’s bags, and some days she was rocking it at the front desk.

    she won best on her team a few months ago, in part because she signs people up for their rewards card, effortlessly upgrades people who want bigger and better, and is beloved by everyone from the housekeepers to the valets

    if you look on trip advisor the guests leave sweet comments about her.

    and when they return to the hotel they’ve been known to hug her

    she truly is that nice.

    but personal concierge isn’t lobby concierge, and that’s really where she shines because

    not long ago she was a lobby concierge at a different fancy hotel by the beach

    where she was the best at advising travelers and tourists and honeymooners and everyone

    about where to eat and what to do. helicopter tours? trips to catalina? nobu?

    she’s a native los angeleno which means she’s not just knowledgeable but more than helpful.

    so the other day she noticed that a different fancy hotel was looking for a lobby concierge

    and that hotel has a bunch of the top rated concierges in town.

    you can tell because when you’re awesome they give you this tough-to-get pin,

    The call it is getting your keys.

    if you saw the great Wes Anderson film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” they spoke of

    a Society of Crossed Keys, a secret, international collection of world class concierges

    who can book you a table at the toughest restaurant,

    get you tickets to the most sold out show,

    or perform impossible feats of service from behind a podium at the highest quality hotels around the world.

    in reality there truly is an international group of concierges who actually do attempt to meet every need they are asked

    and they too have a crossed key pin

    and the next hotel that amber will be working at has about 5-6 members of that club as concierges,

    who, i am certain, will take her under their wing and teach them their tricks

    and she will share with them all the secrets she knows.

    like, for example, where to get the best ramen they’ve ever had the pleasure of known – just 10 minutes from LAX.

    oh did i bury the lede? amber applied and was accepted and starts at the new place soon.

    it has been amazing to watch her rise up the ladder and literally have her dreams come true.

    when we first started dating this is all she talked about

    and here it is.

    reach for the stars dear friends, they want to hug you!