the wrestler, generation kill, creative screenwriting podcast and clerk dogs vs jinni

28, January 2009

The Wrestler

watch … the wrestler

It’s a compelling film and Mickey Rourke is just captivating. The beauty of this film though is it’s simple, intimate portrayal of Rourke’s character, Randy (Robin) The Ram Robinson (Radzinski) and the constant tug of war that plays out between his larger than life glory days (where he still wants to be) and his real life as “a broken down piece of meat”. It provides a real window not just into this character’s life but also the world of wrestling and what happens to performers such as Randy when they are past their prime.

Rourke has already won a Golden Globe, been nominated for a SAG (he lost out to Sean Penn in Milk) and is up for an Oscar but some are speculating that he may be putting his chances in jeopardy if he goes ahead with his plan to climb back into the ring again, this time for real for WWE’s Wrestlemania 25:

“The boys from the WWE called me and asked me to do it,” Rourke told Access Hollywood. “I said, ‘I want to.’ I’m talking with [WWE legend] Rowdy Roddy Piper about it.”

But I think if Mickey seriously goes ahead with his plans and continues to talk about this new gig at oh, say, the Oscar luncheon, he can kiss his Oscar shot goodbye. For one thing, this Wrestle Mania may prove to Oscar voters that he wasn’t really seriously acting at all in “The Wrestler.” Why, he was just being his crazy self.

via Will climbing in the ring cost Mickey Rourke his Oscar? | The Dish Rag | Los Angeles Times.

Personally I think Rourke should quit while he’s ahead and focus on the next gig … and go have a chat with John Travolta about better ways to take advantage of his much lauded career resurrection.

generation-killread … generation kill

The equally ballsy and crazy Evan Wright, a journalist with Rolling Stone, rode with the First Reconnaissance Battalion Marines as they rolled into Iraq in 2003. First Recon were tasked with cutting a path towards Baghdad in a swift and deadly attempt to both liberate and take control of the country. What resulted was chaos and carnage.

Told from First Recon’s point of view, it’s a unique window into the lives, minds and souls of modern day soliders – warriors as they call themselves – and doesn’t pull any punches.

The book has since been adapted into a HBO TV series by David Simon & Ed Burns (alongside Wright) and so is in good hands. Simon, a ex-journo himself, wrote the book that the TV show Homicide: Life on the Streets was based on and is most recognised for creating, with Ed Burns, The Wire and before that the mini-series The Corner.

Personally I’m fascinated with these sort of factual tales told from a very personal point of view because they manage to take a big concept or topic and boil it down into a personal journey that you can follow and understand.

The HBO series is already screening in the US and just started in the UK and has received glowing reviews. No sign yet when it will come to Australia.

creative-screenwriting-coverlisten … creative screenwriting podcast

If you like me and love to watch DVD extras and get the inside scoop on your favourite movies or TV shows then you should check out Creative Screenwriting‘s series of podcasts. Senior editor Jeff Goldsmith interviews predominately writers (but sometimes directors and actors as well) on the background and process of getting their film or TV show made.

The interviews are usually conducted in front of an audience who have just watched the movie or at a convention so there is a real atmosphere and live feel to the podcast. I find Jeff a great interviewer because he keeps things on track and asks the questions I want answered. Traditionally he starts with the writer’s breaking-in story, which is my favourite part, and also spends time to delve into the writer’s career to track their highs and lows.

Clerk Dogspicture-2click … clerk dogs or jinni

Movie recommendations is the next big thing. Or so Clerk Dogs and Jinni would have us believe. Personally I’ve always trusted my movie recommendations to either IMDB or Margaret and David but I thought I would give Clerk Dogs and Jinni a try. Both are online recommendation engines where you can plug in a movie title and get a list of similar movie recommendations that you might be interested in.

They’re’ great if you want to find something similar to a movie you know and love or want to do some research into particular style or genre of movie. Both boast extensive databases of movies so you can search for pretty much anything. Clerk Dogs tends to return more literal recommendations while Jinni offers up a broader scope of movies in a similar vein that you might enjoy. Both have settings and preferences you can tweak to help you find what you want. The main difference is that Clerk Dogs reportedly uses “real” video store clerks to help compile the list of recommendations while Jinni relies solely on complex algorithms and data.

Both are in Beta at the moment and can direct you towards a point of purchase online but they are primarily US based at present. More and more of this services will no doubt start popping up as we enter the age of being able to finally download and stream (legally) movies and TV shows from the internet.

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One Response to “the wrestler, generation kill, creative screenwriting podcast and clerk dogs vs jinni”

  1. Phoebe Says:

    Thanks for your thoughts on Jinni, ClerkDogs, and online recommendations. Our approach at Jinni combines a vocabulary (ontology) designed by human film experts with an automated method of analyzing video metadata and reviews. This approach gives human insight and multiple perspectives (from reviews) with the consistency and efficiency of automation. If you’re curious, you can read more at Our service includes search, “more like” movies you’ve enjoyed, and personalized recommendations to fit each person’s taste. Feedback always welcome!

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