Thursday, November 24, 2011

10 Movies I Am Thankful For

Here are 10 movies I am thankful for. Some of these have personal meaning for me and others introduced the world to some of my favorite filmmakers. So, in no particular order...

1. Shaun of the Dead - Before this movie, no one (at least in America) ever heard of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, or Nick Frost. Just one of these guys is pure gold, the combo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost is a unstoppable, but put all three of these guys together and it is a force to be reckoned with.

2. American Beauty - The movie that changed the way I viewed movies. Which I explain in an earlier post, Taking a Look Closer. Also, the movie introduced me to one of my favorite directors, Sam Mendes. My all time favorite film. 

3. Reservoir Dogs - The film that introduced Quentin Tarantino to the world. One of my favorite directors and one of the most influential, modern directors.

4. Memento - He had Following two years earlier but I don't think it was until Memento, the film that introduced the world to Christopher Nolan. More on Nolan later.

5. Goodfellas - As far back as I remember, the film that introduced me to Martin Scorsese.

6. Star Wars - Thanks to George Lucas for this film.  My favorite film as a kid and one that spurred my imagination.

7. The Godfather - Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece. In my opinion, the ultimate gangster film.

8. Dr Strangelove: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb - the film that introduced me to Stanley Kubrick, the director that inspires me to explore every genre I can. 

9. Cinema Paradiso - My favorite foreign film of all time. As a projectionist and as a filmmaker, it's a film I could highly relate to. 

10. Inception - In my lifetime, there is no other film that inspired so much conversation than Inception. People who I never talked about movies with were talking to me about this movie. It was a movie that was smart and action packed. Nolan is a filmmaker that is able to utilize every second available to tell a complicated story and plot. There is no wasted time in this movie. 

Thanks for reading! Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

Harold and Kumar are back in a sequel that is as good as White Castle.

My rating: Three and a half reels out of 5

Harold and Kumar have changed over the years. Harold and Maria are married and are attempting to have a child without success. Kumar is a failed doctor living alone and lovesick for his ex-girlfriend. Harold and Kumar have grown apart from each other but when a mysterious package arrives at Kumar's apartment addressed to Harold, Kumar decides to pay his old friend a visit. And when Harold's father-in-law's Christmas tree gets inadvertently burned down, Harold is forced to find a replacement and save Christmas.

3D Christmas takes a simple idea like trying to find a Christmas tree and is able to make something out of it. Nothing feels forced and everything just seems to naturally happen. It's simply cause and effect, where every action leads to the next. While I never saw Guantanamo Bay, 3D Christmas follows the same formula that made White Castle so good. And of course, it has NPH...that's Neil Patrick Harris. Have to love an actor that pokes fun of himself.

The humor in this film is raunchy and some of the jokes could potentially offend some people, but there is something about this film that makes it work well. Harold and Kumar have real problems that people can relate to. Harold wants to try to please his father-in-law. Kumar misses his ex-girlfriend. These are different problems from when we first saw them in White Castle. The two characters have grown from the first film and although they are a little bit more adult, they still have a lot to learn about being an adult. Thank god for hallucinogens...

You'll probably like this film if:
1. You liked the first Harold and Kumar movie.
2. You like raunchy comedies.

You will probably not like this film if:
1. You are easily offended.
2. It's just not your kind of humor.

And while I don't think this 3D craze will last very much longer. I have to say this was the best use of 3D this year, especially when you have one of the most up to date projectors projecting it. 

Like Crazy Trailer

At Sundance 2011, I saw three movies...this was one of them. Grand Jury Dramatic Film winner and Special Jury Prize for Felicity Jones


The story of a British college student who falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she's banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa. 

If you've been in a long distance relationship, you will be able to relate to this movie. 

Opening in additional theaters this weekend including Salt Lake, so go check it out. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Music in You

Hey all

Been away from the blog for a while. I got sick a few weeks ago, and I finally feel like I'm 100%. I got some reviews coming up and some deep thoughts, but right now I want to share with you a video that my friends and I have been working on for the last few weeks.

This is a love song written for Emily's fiancee, who had a rough go with cancer. To find out more about their love story and what happened to Roger, check out

Music recorded by Dave Pack and Jennifer Klenk; mixed by Dave Pack;
Production: Reifier Entertainment; Produced by Reifier Entertainment and Hullabaloo Productions