Saturday, October 31, 2009


CineRobot has a lot of new stuff recently so how about a short film I made? When in London in September I filmed a bunch of the city with a small, super8 styled camera I was carrying. I love the dreamy, over saturated look of the images of this camera and think it perfectly fits my memory of spending time in London.

Here is the first one of various little short things I plan on filming in the upcoming months--including LONDONISM2.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Subscribing vs. following

I think I posted something in error a few weeks ago. The followers list sign up might not send out e-mails to you when posts/comments occur. It is more a Facebook style app to see who is following CineRobot. I've had a few e-mails about people thinking they were going to get e-mail notices when posts were coming after signing in. For that, you will need to put the same info in the "sbscrb to CineRobot" box just below the poll box. You can choose to be alerted to posts + comments or just posts. Let me know if this doesn't work either.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

UTW review of Good Hair

Go here if you want to read my review this week in Urban Tulsa Weekly. It's the Chris Rock documentary Good Hair, which examines various social, cultural, political elements to the way African-Americans (mostly women) choose to wear their hair.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Channing Tatum: horrible actor & dream invader

It's bad enough when you watch some movie you don't like--at least that's done by choice and you can turn it off or walk out of the theatre. What happens when you wake up in the middle of the night and realize you have just had a dream about a movie and it was force fed to you against your will? That happened to me a few nights ago and let me tell you, it wasn't a good night's sleep. On the bright side, it may lead to a new film being adapted and turned into box office magic by adroit Hollywood insiders if they happen to stumble upon this post by sheer accident.

Any dream with lunk headed actor and Vanilla Ice worshiper Channing Tatum (see photo of the douche himself) in it can never be good. Ever. Tatum, who has been in such films recently as Fighting and G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, seems about as bright as a brain-addled turtle. I've seen him a few times being interviewed and the guy has difficulty accessing the part of the brain to make these things we call sentences. I don't want to go out on a crazy limb here but his career owes more to that rockin' bod and his pouty face.

So, imagine my inner terror when Tatum shows up in a dream where I'm at a movie theatre watching a film. Get ready Hollywood producers and wannabe screenwriters for a doozy of a premise that I want a co-story credit (I'll use an pseudonym due to embarrassment, unlike the current spate of Hollywood types) if you steal this idea from my subconscious. I suggest casting Tatum in the lead too since I can attest to his ability to play this role to perfection--it's right in his range (the character's name is Duke and this will be Tatum's third role as "Duke"; this makes it easier for him to recall his lines) as he'll play a guy who grunts and never lets loose with dialogue with more than two syllables. Call Tatum quick!

The plot of the film early on is about skateboarders in their late 20s who refuse to give up the casual lifestyle they are immersed in. It's their life, their passion, their reason for getting up in the morning and taking to the pavement. The leader of the pack, a surly (yet sensitive!), gifted boarder (Tatum!) thinks it might be time to give up the board but he's torn between loyalty to his crew and the new found maturity he is pondering (pony up the money for Megan Fox!). Imagine the emotional fireworks as we cut to Tatum's face scrunched up in deep thought (he's trying to remember the short phrase he's supposed to utter) and he has a eureka moment and hollers out, "I'll get that G.E.D.!" Later on, Duke (uhm, Tatum, I'm getting confused myself) decides med school is the route to go as that will show all the haters!

Here's where the film takes an odd, but believable twist--at least believable in this day and age of filmmaking. While on a post-dawn skate, Duke/Tatum begins to do battle with these demonic creatures that rise out of the cement and attempt to pull people under the concrete and into the netherworld of hell. This is where the film can load up on the CGI that will coax all the males into seeing this PG-13 rated movie. Duke/Tatum gets to fight off all kinds of demonic spawn, naturally shirtless, with his skateboard in a flame ridden underground city.

Unfortunately (well, fortunate for my well being actually), this is where I woke up but I believe I've laid the groundwork for any filmmaker, producer or Hollywood type to take this idea and run with it. I know, it's not a sequel. It's not based on a graphic novel or a comic book. It's not based on a book or a TV show either. This is something you don't see a lot of now--an original idea via my dream state. I'm not sure I'd score it that high if I had seen it at a test screening but don't brush it off yet. Isn't the awesomely bad Channing Tatum, shirtless skateboarding scenes and lots of violent (but not too violent as we don't want that scary R rating that would cost us that precious teenage market) demon fighting be enough to PR/cross promote the shite out of it into a hit? Didn't you, dear Hollywood, just do that with soulless films like Transformers 2 and G.I. Joe? It can be done again and again and again and again and again and again and again. These idiot audiences of 2009 will never get wiser and they will lap it up every time.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

UTW review of Paranormal Activity

Go here if you want to read my review for Paranormal Activity in this week's Urban Tulsa Weekly. It's a low-tech horror film that taps into your imagination.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Poll questions + searches + other changes

I've updated CineRobot's layout and settings somewhat. New features include the ability to search CineRobot for particular actors, actresses, directors and films--there's posts going back over four years now so you'd be surprised how many names pop up in posts. Try a few searches and you'll see what I mean.

I've also added a poll question that I'll change every couple of weeks--unless no one ever answers the question. If that happens I'll scrap that. They are anonymous so there's no reason to be a lurker and to not answer it! The first one is relevant as I'm going to go see The Thing this week and Halloween is coming up soon--not to sway your responses.

There is also a link on the bottom of the sidebar to add yourself as a "follower" to CineRobot. This should send you a notification each time a post is made--so you don't have to come back and check every so often. Not sure if this will allow you to see the polls on the home page but you could always head over to the home page after you've read the new post.

There might be a few more changes on here too as the new layout offers other things that might make CineRobot more interactive, we'll see. Whether or not the interactive stuff stays or goes might depend strictly on you, dear readers.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Sewing Circle

Book review. The Sewing Circle is kind of a sleazy book about actresses during the 1920s-1950s who were lesbian or bisexual. Garbo, Dietrich, Bankhead, Hepburne, Stanwyck and many others.

The Sewing Circle is written by Axel Madsen and he writes with the air of an academic as he digs up the dirt on these Hollywoodians. He's not. This faux academia gives the book an ever sleazier edge as it pretends to be something it isn't. When the gossip and the details start flying, it makes them even more jarring.

Not great but luridly interesting if you like to read about this era of films as it dishes out all kinds of tales about women (and men) who lived secret lives outside of the glare and the glamor as cinematic stars.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

UTW reviews: American Harmony + Bright Star

Go here if you want to read my reviews for the week. I reviewed American Harmony--a doc about barbershop quartets--and Bright Star--the latest from Jane Campion set in 1818 London and around the poet John Keats. Bright Star is one of my favorite films of the year.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Recent films

Tricks. Poland. 2008. This is one of the sweetest tales of childhood I've seen in a while. I'm not a huge fan of coming of age films with really young kids but Tricks has a terrific blend of various elements connected to youth. Set in a small Polish town, a kid follows his pretty sister around while trying to figure out if the man who lingers at the train station is the father who abandoned them. Simple story that is utterly charming from start to finish.

Westworld. 1973. USA. When I was a kid Westworld and Logan's Run were a couple of my favorite science fiction films. I watched them over and over again as both are just really cool ideas. Westworld is about a theme park for adults populated by robots. Robots! Well, when their machine circuitry goes awry and guests start getting killed, that's a problem, isn't it? Original bald brother Yul Brynner plays a gunslinger who refuses to die. Directed by Michael Crichton, this is just pure 1970s fun.

Into the Wild. 2008. USA. I didn't see this when it came out because I read the book and therefore had been exasperated by this story once already. College grad with romantic, extremely idealized smarts burns money, wanders in the West before starving to death in the Alaskan wild. True story. Earnestly directed by Sean Penn with a direct On the Road for the 21st century quality. That's good. Into the Wild was a lot better than I expected, it has a great ensemble cast and Emile Hirsch is wonderful and charismatic in the lead role.

National Treasure. 2005. USA. Surprisingly enjoyable summer blockbuster action yarn that stars Nic Cage and his toupee out to redeem his family name from scandalous slander. Lots of historical scavenger hunt around the globe styled adventures--some more believable than others. Okay, mostly not believable. I watched part two a couple days later and it was terrible!

Friday, October 09, 2009

UTW reviews: Capitalism: A Love Story + The Invention of Lying

This week for Urban Tulsa Weekly I reviewed Michael Moore's newest Capitalism: A Love Story and the Ricky Gervais comedy The Invention of Lying. Don't be frightened but Capitalism: A Love Story is a 1,600+ word review! To read both of them go here.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Movie tickets #11

Sunday, October 04, 2009

September movies

Westworld---1973---usa ****
The Hangover---2009---usa ****
Big River Man---2009---usa ***
Coco Before Chanel---2009---france **
National Treasure---2005---usa ***
Fish Tank---2009---england ***1/2
Broken Embraces---2009---spain ***1/2
National Treasure 2---2008---usa **
The September Issue---2009---usa **1/2
The River---1951---france ***
Just Another Love Story---2009---denmark ***
Tricks---2008---poland ****
Sin Nombre---2008---mexico ***1/2
The Great Buck Howard---2009---usa ***1/2
Yes Man---2009---usa ***
The Express---2008---usa ***
Eagle Eye---2008---usa **1/2
Into the Wild---2008---usa ****
The Happening---2008---usa **
The Surrogates---2009---usa **1/2
Out of Sight---1998---usa *****!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

UTW Surrogates review

This week was my first as a film critic at Urban Tulsa Weekly. It's a weekly paper published in the Tulsa area. I'll be reviewing one or so films a week for them. I will try to publish the link to my reviews on CineRobot in case anyone wants to check those out.

You can go to, click on cinema to read all the reviews; or just click Surrogates and it should take you right to my review.

I don't know how long they keep their reviews archived in case it doesn't work a month from now.