To Live and Write in LA

Archive for Action

IFFF: James Caan as ‘Undercover Grandpa’ Gets Help from Paul Sorvino and Louis Gosset Jr

Is your grandpa really who you think he is? (Are you reading this, grandkids?) Or, like Jake’s grandpa played by James Caan in ‘Undercover Grandpa,’ does he have a secret identity? Jake’s fun and dramatic discoveries about his grandpa helped Undercover Grandpa win the Best Feature Foreign Comedy accolade at the International Family Film Festival.

Interview: ‘Virtual Revolution’ Writer/Director Guy-Roger Duvert Spills Real and VR Blood in His First Feature

‘Before the shooting, people were asking me all the time in which studio I would be filming, assuming that most of the film would be shot in front of green screens. The reality is very different. Out of the 30 days of shooting, we shot only one day in a green screen studio.

Adobe Does ‘Deadpool’ : And Remember Kids, Try This at Home

Deadpool is not your father’s superhero movie, or, because of its R-rating, your kid’s either. Director Tim Miller was true to the comic book character, who has been rude-man-out in the Marvel Universe for 25 years. Miller was obviously going for shock and edginess and he succeeded. But one thing not obvious is how this tale was put together. Traditionally, major movies have been assembled on big, dedicated editing hardware and software costing as much as a Prius. Although Deadpool couldn’t have been put together on your father’s PC, it probably could on your kid’s.

Anthem FilmFest: Plato, Revolting, and Mendocino – All in a Cave

Ancient Greek philosopher Plato put in a couple of appearances at the Anthem Film Festival in Las Vegas, July 8-11. Two of the short films showed influence, if not direct inspiration, by Plato’s tale of the cave, written 2,500 years ago. The films, ‘The Cage’ and ‘Helio’ both deserve praise for supporting the human quest for freedom and individualism. Cinematically, ‘Helio’ was a winner and ‘The Cage’ was not.

LA Film Fest: Two Scary Ladies – Sophie Lowe and Beth Riesgraf Turn Clichés on Their Heads

Women are typically the victims in action and horror films, but two films at the Los Angeles Film Festival flipped these genre clichés on their heads.

‘Pound of Flesh’ Premiere with Jean-Claude Van Damme, Princes, and Vine Stars

(Originally published on Films don’t just premiere in Hollywood anymore. The premiere of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s new action film Pound of Flesh turned up the crazy on the red carpet as the film premiered to an audience of cast, crew, and industry insiders at the The Grove on May 7. The Grove is the […]

‘Kidnapping Mr. Heineken’ – Anthony Hopkins Gets Kidnapped by Sam Worthington

How much is the life of a billionaire worth? That and other questions about life, relationships, and greed are explored inKidnapping Mr. Heineken, staring Sir Anthony Hopkins (The Lion in Winter, Silence of the Lambs) as Dutch beer entrepreneur Alfred “Freddy” Heineken, and Jim Sturgess (The Other Boleyn Girl, Cloud Atlas) and Sam Worthington (Avatar, Clash of the Titans) as the brains behind the grab.

Directed by Daniel Alfredson (The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest), this film is not the typical “heist flick” in the Oceans 11-The Italian Job genre. It goes much deeper.

SXSW: ‘The Diabolical’ and ‘Roar’ – Learning from Mistakes with Tipi Hedren and Ali Larter

As film fans and writers we can learn something from other people’s mistakes, for example, the SXSW screenings of ‘The Diabolical’ and ‘Roar.

Family Film Fest: Zane and Eastwood Help Producer Pull-off Hat Trick

(Originally published on Two famous Hollywood names, Zane and Eastwood, helped producer Jeffery Patterson score a hat trick (the hockey kind, not the cowboy kind), winning two awards at the International Family Film Festival this month in Hollywood, California. Patterson won the Best Feature Drama award for Hot Bath an’ a Stiff Drink, and […]

Anthem Film Fest: ‘Cough’ – A Must-Watch for Filmmakers

This is an amazing 11 minutes of film. In the space within which most films are still on the titles, Australian Writer/Director Jason Kempnich gives us a “save the cat” moment, a character flaw (despair), an inciting incident, a character arc, conflict and a resolution. And the special effects are good, too. I saw Cough at the Anthem […]

Stand Up Guys

(First published on When you have a great screenplay, the talent shows up. Screenwriter Noah Haidle has crafted a story that is sure to become a classic. Stand Up Guys stars Academy Award winners Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin in an action-comedy about senior citizen gangsters reunited after one of them spent 28 years in prison. Val (Al Pacino) is […]

PopConLA: Sybil Danning Shows you a Road to Movie Success

(First published on How do you make a movie? According to horror and fantasy queen Sybil Danning, the rules have changed. Danning, whose acting credits include Hercules, Howling II, Grindhouse, and Halloween has added producer, writer, and director to her resume. I spoke with Danning at PopConLA. PopConLA debuted this year, running July 5 – 8 as a new convention for fans of […]

‘Black Death’ – Painfully Realistic Fantasy

(Originally published on The first line of Black Death, which opens in New York and Los Angeles March 11, “The fumes of the dead hung in the air like poison…,” sets the tone for an action flick that tries to delve much deeper into the soul than most sword and sorcery fare. This ScreamFest 2010 […]

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