It's All About The Movies
Week of August 19th to August 26th 2013 - Volume One, Issue Twenty-Eight.
In This Issue
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Movie Watch
Star Turn
Did You Know?
Back Talk
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Dear Movie Lover,
Yet another instance of death becomes you!
Or so it would seem from the hoopla that surrounds the upcoming biopic of Princess Diana.
In her short time in the public eye, Diana mesmerized the world with her wedding, the birth of the princes, charitable works, her unhappy marriage. And, her unfortunate and all-to-soon passing.
Diana's very presence on the planat captivated so many of us. She had star quality in abundance. It ultimately became her undoing.
Thanks to the media mongrels who hounded her to her death, Diana has joined the ranks of Elvis Presley, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and even Mother Theresa. The dearly departed whose lives, so it seems, are microscopically mined for tidbits to fuel their mystique. And subsequently, the highly profitable books, TV specials and movies that follow.
As you undoubtedly have heard. Diana is now the subject of a Hollywood biopic simply called Diana. No further explanation required. Naomi Watts plays the star-crossed royal, with the focus on her doomed love affair with the heart surgeon (ironic?)  she called Mr. Wonderful.
Much to the credit of Mr. Wonderful, he has not participated in this circus. Who cares if the reason is love or respect for Diana.  Even a strong desire for privacy? His silence is praise-worthy.
Suffice to say, Diana will be a box office hit. The point is, of course, the paucity of originality.  Film makers, money men and writers go for the sure thing. The personas elevated by the constant barrage of overexposure. Leaving them with no private lives.
Many of them engage in the trade-off. Because very few achieve larger-than-life status unless fueled by the omnipresent paparazzi. Celeb TV. Instant
online gossip.
That's why we should all applaud gutsy Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner for their stand against the hoards of camera-clicking carnivores and others who feed off celebrity. Will these brave two be able to prompt legislation to hold back the onslaught? Stay tuned.
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Movie Watch

Monday, August 19, 2013

12:00 am Absolute Fear (Drama)
01:34 am Bingo Confidential (Comedy)
03:03 am Pajama Game (Comedy)
04:44 am Secret at Arrow Lake (Drama)
06:08 am McLintock (Western)
08:16 am Absolute Fear (Drama)
09:50 am Absolute Fear (Drama)
11:25 am Clipping Adam (Drama)
12:51 pm Hannibal Brooks (Comedy)
02:33 pm Absolute Fear (Drama)
04:07 pm Absolute Fear (Drama)
05:42 pm How To Marry A Millionaire (Romance)
07:17 pm Embryo (Sci-Fi)
09:02 pm Bill Collector (Drama)
10:39 pm House Under Seige (Drama)

Click here for the complete schedule
Star Turn:
Lack of Creativity?
Very Different Movies With The Same Name 
Seems Warner Brothers lost their battle with the Weinstein Brothers over their title of the new movie The Butler. Of course, Warner Brothers' Butler appeared  on the silver screen in 1916.
It won't be the first time---or will it be the last---that movies have debuted with the same name. Take a look.
The Kid  (1921/2000)
In the 2000 version Bruce Willis meets his younger self---a premise rich enough that it warranted stealing the title of one of Charlie Chaplin's earliest and most beloved features.
Heaven Can Wait (1943/1978)
No, Warren Beatty's postmortem fame is not a remake of Ernst Lubitsch's late-period charmer in which a deceased Don Ameche relates his not-so-lurid life to a diabolic agent. It's a remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan, in which an athlete is given a second chance at life.
Chocolat (1988/2000)
First, it heralded the evocation of youth in the Cameroon, limning the prickly relationship between French colonialists and the natives. Then, twelve years later, it was the title of the flick featuring Juliette Binoche and her mouth-watering aphrodisiacs. Confusing!
Red (1994/ 2010)
One is the conclusion of Kieslowki's Trois Couleurs trilogy as well as a playful peek at the fickleness of chance. The other has Helen Mirren shooting off guns. Two at a time with a ballet dancer's grace and precision, in this Summer's sequel, Red 2.
Crash (1996/2004)
Just imagine how many times people trying to rent Paul Haggis's study of racism got the Cronenberg picture in which people thrived on automotive mayhem.
Did You Know?
For Location Scouts
It's All About Making The Scene
In the old days, movies---even the big ones---were shot on studio back lots. For example, Tara, that iconic Gone with the Wind plantation, was actually made of plywood and paper mache.
These days, movie locations are mostly real. Found by location scouts who are often the first people hired for a film. Should be easy work, right? Not quite. Rewarding?
According to location scouts, in many scripts there are at least 40 locations. Some, part of another one. For example. a restaurant would count as one location. A scene shot in the restaurant's Ladies' Room would be another location. The kitchen, a third.
It is up to the location scout to find them all---restaurants, stores, office buildings, apartments, beaches. Then, once the locations have been approved and shooting starts, they are the people who manage every aspect of every location.
And manage is the operative word for a plethora of responsibilities that includes setting up parking, making arrangements with all the neighbors, contracting with all the places where filming is going to take place.
A period film presents particular challenges. That's when the location scout must practice anachronism removal. When shooting LA Confidential in 1997, the scout was tasked with turning time back to the 1950's. Even the traffic stripes on the road had to be converted from 1997's double yellow markings to the double whites compatible to the era.
Everywhere the movie shot had to be time-warped. Satellite dishes came down. Trash cans were removed. Everything re-created the look of a 1950's Los Angeles neighborhood.
Scouting can mean days, even weeks on the road. So your car becomes your home away from home. Many location scouts keep their trunks loaded with blankets, pillows, water and snacks.
Tool kits, safety goggles, tents, safety cones, umbrellas and ponchos are also standard travel gear.
But the most important item in the trunk is a camera.  You have to get the shot. And shoot from all angles. There must be tons of photos for the director and production designer to look at. Once the script is read, the scout breaks it down to areas. Then takes photos of potential locations to see which of them jibes with the director's vision.
After a location is scouted and approved, the manager has to deal with other filming preparations;
permits, extra police and security, tents or RV's fitted out as wardrobe, hair and makeup studios and craft services areas. In a word, everything! It is almost like throwing a full-blown wedding for 200 people every day, many times at different locations.
Except at these "weddings", commandos drop onto roofs some days. Or a machine gun fight starts. Then, of course, there's the occasional tidal wave.
For location scout professionals, the long hard work of finding the right place to shoot is most successful when it disappears. It should all be invisible so the audience feels as though they are viewing somebody---the actors---living a life. To be living a life on screen, the actors have to feel like it's their house, this may be where they were born. Most important, they have to be comfortable enough to believe it.
And so it's location, location, location, with location scouts taking the first vital steps in getting us to suspend reality for a couple of hours and enter other lives.
Back Talk
We welcome our readers' thoughts, comments and opinions to our Tune and Watch forum. We look forward to getting yours. Simply contact and let us know what's on your mind.


See you on every day. Where the films are always fabulous and always free. On desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Mike and Monika


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