Category Archives: film

Extract World Premiere at Paramount

Extract World Premiere at Paramount

ExtractMonday afternoon I decided to read through all of my unread emails. This generally just means coupon type things and some mailing lists I don’t follow religiously, but it also included emails from Austin Film Society. There are always local screenings of things and I don’t always pay the greatest attention. But, I noticed that one of them mentioned a World Premiere of Extract. That sounded interesting. I realized it was for Tuesday, the next day, and figured it would be all sold out. It wasn’t, surprisingly. It’s the WORLD Premiere of the film, I just assumed that would mean something.  Mike put some feelers out to see who of our friends would want to go. Only one other couple was game, our friends Josh and Libby — recently wedded. They are big movie folk, so they were all for it.

The ticket prices were quite steep – $35 – but I realized that it was all going towards the Texas Filmmakers’ Production Fund. That’s a great cause, so that makes the hit of the price a bit softer.

I’ve seen quite a few premieres of various sorts at the Paramount before, but I’ve never really tried to catch the red carpet stuff. Libby was really wanting to stick near the red carpet to see Jason Bateman when he arrived, so we waited out there with them. We got a good spot right inside the door, against the barrier thingies. For the 10 feet worth of red carpet, it took Mr. Bateman like 30 minutes to get to where we were. I swear he is more adorable in person than anything on the screen. So friggin’ cute! We also saw Patti Griffin, and Mike Judge while we were waiting out there.

YARRRRRRRR! Thar be SPOILERS ahead. Ye’ve been warrrrrned!

Now, let’s discuss the meat of the matter — the movie. Hmmm. It’s been a couple days, so I’ve had time to do some thinking on this. I didn’t like it. I liked certain bits here and there, and Jason Bateman was awesome. And, shockingly!!!, Ben Affleck kinda stole the show. Now, let me see… why didn’t I like it?  It was weak. The story was so jumbled and loose that it just felt like a high school student’s assignment. Mila Kunis character almost seemed completely useless. I mean, I know we have to have a love interest or affair interest in this case, but her part seemed completely tacked on. There was this gigolo that Ben Affleck’s character hired to bang Jason’s wife, played by Kristen Wiig. There was almost an element of… “Is he really banging HIS wife, or someone else?” But it wasn’t really a forced mystery, so it seemed just so badly drawn out. I’m probably not explaining this well. But, let’s just say everything in the film felt too middle of the road. Like someone had a choice in what direction to go for particular story ideas, and instead of making a confident decision… they just decided to split the difference. Which makes for a very poorly constructed weak story.  Even some of the really funny stuff in the previews, wasn’t nearly as funny in context. Which doesn’t happen often, but it hurts when it does.

I love Mike Judge. I still watch King of the Hill, and I even really liked the poorly received Idiocracy. Not cuz it was a great movie, but the ideas behind it still make me think. The quick and dirty of that movie is that all the smart people don’t breed fast enough, and over time all the really stupid mofos have breeded like bunnies and everyone in the future is pretty much the worst simpletons you can imagine. Even the people in power. Scary, scary ideas mainly cuz I can definitely see that happening. Oh, but it is a comedy. Anyway, yes, fan here. So this film is just kinda heartbreaking. He’s just so much better than this film. Hell, everyone in the film is better than this.

Self Determination

Self Determination

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this yet. This is my latest short film. Granted, it was finished in December, but still…

Self Determination from Rimas Remeza on Vimeo.

He’s Soooo Dreamy! (Twilight Review)

He’s Soooo Dreamy! (Twilight Review)

Last night I went to an early preview screening of Twilight at the Bob Bullock IMAX Theatre. It was an Austin Film Society event, and Richard Linklater was the MC for the evening, as he is one of the founders of AFS. The director, Catherine Hardwicke, was also in attendance. She did work as Linklater’s Production Designer on a couple or so films, so they have some history. There was a Q&A afterwards, and it didn’t suck.

Mike, my workout bud Sarah, and my boss’ daughter Courtney were with me. I’d heard from my boss how much his daughter was into the books, so when I had an extra ticket, I offered it up. She was super excited and really sweet. I hope she enjoyed herself.

First off, let me tell you my pre-watching thoughts. I was not in love with the casting. I could definitely see Kristen Stewart as Bella. But I was really not digging on Robert Pattinson as Edward. I mean, c’mon, Edward is supposed to be this beautiful being. While Robert Pattinson isn’t unattractive, he’s just not even close to what I pictured for Edward. The rest of the cast I wasn’t too concerned with, but I wasn’t awesomely thrilled. I did hope the casting of Alice would be good, cuz she’s a fun character. To sum it up, I loved the books, so I was really wary of the movie.

Ok, now to the after-watching thoughts. Casting wasn’t as awful as I was thinking. With the exception of Peter Facinelli as Carlisle Cullen. What the hell? Bizarre. Overall, I liked it. But I didn’t find it terribly moving. Kristen Stewart was good, but didn’t have a tremendous amount of range. Shockingly, I really did enjoy Robert Pattinson’s performance. I still don’t feel like he looks like Edward. I don’t even think I would call him beautiful, as Edward is so often described in the book. Handsome, yes. Perhaps even untraditionally so, thus the allure. He’s got enough “ugly” in him to make it interesting. What do I mean by that, you may wonder? I think that the people we are drawn to in flocks have some slightly off about that beauty. And he definitely has something slightly off. But I can dig it. Anyhoo, back to the performance. I definitely felt the attraction from Edward towards Bella, but not so much in the reverse. The main part of the story, the falling in love part, was the part that I missed most. It seemed like one minute Edward was all hateful towards Bella, the next they are in complete and utter love for all eternity. Nah, not so much. Granted, this does happen in the book, but in such a way that it builds properly. I missed the buildup, cuz it just wasn’t there. My husband, Mike, also pointed out a hole to me that I probably looked over, because I’d read the book. There’s a bad vampire that gets a whiff of Bella and suddenly has to have her. So they take off running to get her away from him. However, we never really find out why does this vampire have to have HER. Why would he be willing to run all over the US tracking her down? That is covered in the book a bit more, so I guess my mind filled in the blanks.

I also didn’t love the camera work and choice of shots. I know this is supposed to be an intimate story, and a good way to get that across is close-up shots. But, yanno that adage.. too much of a good thing… definitely applies here. There was also a lot of handheld stuff, and it seemed slightly messy. The glaringly awful thing in the movie was the special effects. Wow, bad. There’s a scene where Edward exposes his skin to the sun and it “sparkles”. Man, talk about velveeta. Yeeeow. Edward’s skin overall (non-sunned) wasn’t too bad, but Carlisle’s?!?!?! Wow, let’s dip a dude in a vat of rice powder or something. Goodness. But I do need to remember that the budget for this movie was kinda low ($40mil) for such a largely hyped movie. So, they did good.

Don’t get me wrong, I did like this movie. I’m even contemplating seeing it again. And I very rarely see movies more than once in the theater. It just felt loose, watered down even. I do recommend anyone into vampire love stories with a bit of blood & action go see it. Then, if you haven’t read the book, go do that. You’ll like it even better.

7 out of 10

SXSW Click!

SXSW Click!

Ooh. Look. Another one.. ALREADY.

Well, only cuz I forgot to mention that I turned in Socially to SXSW Click a couple weeks ago. I’m sure I will post if we actually get down into the finals for anything. If we do get to the point where we are up on their website, then I’m sure I will be begging, borrowing, and attempting to steal votes from all my peeps. THAT MEANS YOU!

Stay tuned for more information :D

SXSW 2008 – Day 1

SXSW 2008 – Day 1

Thursday night, Rob and I did a couple hours of filming for the short. I knew this a couple weeks ago, so I planned to take Friday off. I knew films didn’t begin until later afternoon/early evening. But I figured it would allow me a bit of time to decompress.

My 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival journey began at the Austin ConventionGoliath Center at 6:30pm with the film Goliath. This was a recommendation from my film class instructor Kat Candler. This was made by a couple Austin brothers. Although slow in pace, I did like it. It was both sad and sweet. After a man has lost much of what he has to lose, he loses his cat Goliath. When everything else was going to crap, at least he had his cat. Well, not anymore. Through his search for his feline, we also see his further and possibly final decline.

I will admit that as I saw watching this film, I kept thinking… Holy crap. If this got into SXSW, I have hope. Technically, there were a lot of annoying things. Focus seemed to be a luxury the brothers couldn’t afford. Also, with lighting, I’m thinking there was no lighting beyond what would normally be used in a given room… lamps, headlights, spotlight, etcetc. However, I can also appreciate the simplicity. When filming this short recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that I hate lighting. It’s damn time consuming. Even with these technical annoyances, I liked it. I think this simplistic style is their style. Kudos to them. Plus, mad props to some Austinites. You give me hope men. 7 out of 10

We continued on with our instructor’s recommendations and went over to Austin South Lamar for the film Half-Life. I saw a preview for this film, but really had no real clue what it was about before going in. Well, we thought this one started at 9:30, so we got there at 9:15, but it really started at 9:00pm. I’m thinking this had to be the most important 15 minutes of a film EVER. For the next 10ish minutes, I was so lost, I thought maybe this was a short that was playing before the feature. A little after 10 Half-Lifeminutes, I realized that this was indeed the film. I sat there for the rest of the film truly perplexed and baffled. It felt like I was in the middle of a private joke that never ended, and I was never going to be let in on it. Now, this wasn’t a comedy, I’m just trying to make you understand how confusing it felt. I think after reading a few things and listening to the pathetic Q&A afterwards, I can tell you it was a “family drama”, but beyond that, no clue. I will say that this was an extremely beautiful film. The cinematography was amazing. Absolutely stunning. So, from that particular standpoint, I was definitely entertained. But I had come to watch a film. 4.5 out of 10

Now, let me try to clarify a bit of my animosity towards this film. For the Q&A, the director and her crew (which seemed to be most of the tiny audience) came up to answer questions. I was actually quite amazed that so many questions were asked. However, at one point the director, Jennifer Phang, says something to the effect that … the Sundance audience was smart, “they got it”. For some reason, and call me crazy, I got very pissed at this. It was said in such a way as to make me think that Austin, in comparison, wasn’t nearly as smart, cuz we didn’t get it. And how she came to this particular conclusion kinda baffled me. No one said anything derogatory during the Q&A (well there was some dumbass that tried to tie the Manta Ray or whatever it was to the death of Steve Irwin). At that point, I just didn’t care what else she said, and I wish I could have gotten my time back and gone to see 21 at the Paramount instead.

I heard 21 had a kickass Q&A afterwards too. Bastards.

Quiet on the Set!

Quiet on the Set!

We starting filming on the short film this weekend. It was pretty awesome. I was a bit nervous about it, to say the least, but all went well. Our lead actress is awesome, and she’s fun to be around too. You gotta be able to have fun while all this is going down. There’s a lot of time between setups and it can be tedious. There are some pictures from Day 1 from Rod Cole, our director of photography. Alev, Rob’s wife, took pictures from Day 2.

From Script-to-Screen

From Script-to-Screen

Rob’s birthday was this past Sunday. The whole fam pitched in and we signed him (and me!) up for Kat Candler‘s Script to Screen class held at The Austin School of Film downtown. We started class this past Tuesday, and it was most excellent. There were 18 people there I think, and quite a different bunch of people. That is actually one of the reasons I wanted to take it besides the film aspect — meeting new people.

This first week’s assignment is kinda stressing me out! I knew that we had to write a script the first week, but I just thought it would just be like POP! or VOILA! in da head, and magically appear on the page or something. Hard as hell. I think I could probably write a full feature easier than a 5-minute short. It’s intense. I think I finally figured out something to write about last night. I whipped up 2 pages in about an hour too. So, I’m finally beginning to feel some hope. I’m not really caring if I make this or not. I really just want to make a film, I don’t necessarily care if it’s mine. At least, not yet anyway.

At the end of class, on April 26th, we will be screening our films at Dobie. The thought makes me kinda nauseous.