20 December 2010


STASIS stars Reshad Strik, Beau Bridges, Ernie Hudson, and Rachel Specter. This short film is very well done. The cinematography and lighting are great. You may watch it here: https://vimeo.com/14795455.

01 December 2010

The Drummer

A friend told me about this short film: http://www.thedrummershort.com/ (click Watch THE DRUMMER). It is good, has beautiful music, and many artists may relate.

25 October 2010

Sacramento Horror Film Festival 2010

This weekend I attended the Sacramento Horror Film Festival. I mostly watched short films. The common theme amongst filmmakers in attendance was that they make a short film to attract financing for a feature film. I noticed some highlight technical talent and others are superb storytellers.

ALICE JACOBS IS DEAD stars Adrienne Barbeau as a woman with a horrific virus. Her husband is a scientist and desperately researches a cure. The acting is very good in this story. I just wish it were longer; however, it does have a beginning, middle, and an end. Some short films are so short, before I can get involved drastic things happen and the movie ends. This film is not like that. It is well-paced, and has all the ingredients for a feature. Here is the film's trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=101-gf2AJy8.

WICK is another short film that I think will make an excellent feature. In this movie a young woman has nightmarish visions that reveal her mysterious past. The story takes place in a mental hospital, and this film provides a way for viewers to develop an interest in finding out why the lady is a patient. Here is the film's official Web site: http://www.wickthemovie.com/.

THE CURSE OF MICAH ROOD reveals an old legend from Norwich, Connecticut in a clever way. Ron Palillo plays Micah Rood, a man who cherishes his privacy and precious apple orchard. When a peddler stops by and asks to stay the night, Micah is not too kind, but complies, only to later accuse the peddler of stealing his apples. This leads to Micah committing a violent deed and taints the fruit of his orchard with the blood of guilt. THE CURSE OF MICAH ROOD is a period piece, and it is enjoyable watching Ron Palillo in the lead role. Here is the film's trailer:

LIMIKKIN RANCH is a great short (impressive student film). While watching this movie, just as it ends, most viewers want more. The setting is a mysterious ranch. A man is summoned to the ranch to hunt and kill a violent pack of marauding coyotes. He discovers the true threat is far more ancient and evil. You may watch the movie here: http://vimeo.com/8750304.

One feature that is unique and interestingly intriguing is THE MAN WHO COLLECTED FOOD. A loner chooses collecting food as his hobby. Most people collect stamps, baseball cards, or coins, but this guy collects food. Since he collects food, do you think he eats it? The answer is no. He resorts to the atrocious act of cannibalism. I know this seems nauseating, but the film will draw you in. Here is the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-HVKkm3EGQ.

04 October 2010

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

I like the plot of the film, WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS (good title). The story offers some unexpected turns, and that kept me intrigued. Once again Michael Douglas is a joy to watch as “Gordon Gekko;” viewers want to sympathize with his character.

Overall, this is an excellent film directed by Oliver Stone and the entire cast is wonderful. Josh Brolin is spectacular as always, Shia LaBeouf has a lot of talent, and Susan Sarandon is fantastic. In addition, Frank Langella’s performance is outstanding, and I like Carey Mulligan as “Winnie Gekko.”

13 September 2010

Get Low

I have seen several excellent independent films this year (LA MISSION; BLACK, WHITE, AND BLUES), and GET LOW is one of them. This film is worthy of Academy Award recognition. The screenplay is very good and there is a stellar cast: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek, Bill Cobbs, Lucas Black, and Gerald McRaney.

Duvall plays a hermit who wants to attend his own funeral. The local pastor (McRaney) balks at the idea of presiding over such an "event," but the funeral home director, played brilliantly by Murray, needs the business and is prepared to help. Beyond this, the story offers a major internal conflict for Duvall's character that a pastor friend (Cobbs) wants him to share so he can let go and move on and an external conflict involving Spacek's character. These conflicts provide more layers to the hermit concept.

For more information about GET LOW visit http://www.sonyclassics.com/getlow.

26 July 2010

Black, White, and Blues

Last night at the Sacramento Film & Music Festival I watched a special movie called BLACK, WHITE, AND BLUES starring Michael Clarke Duncan and Morgan Simpson (also a producer), with appearances by Tom Skerritt and Luke Perry, and a cameo by Melvin Van Peebles. Perry’s performance was fun to watch, as the character he plays in this film is different from any other I have seen him portray. Each of the actors gave great performances, which can be attributed to the movie’s director, Mario Van Peebles.

The unpredictable story with its surprising twists takes place in Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. (According to producers, the filming took place in Memphis.) The setting is significant to the story because the music is all blues and country. There is more blues because the main character, "Bailey" (Simpson), is a blues man. The music is superb throughout the film as the characters visit various blues bars (and a country one), and blues bands/singers have their talent showcased. I am hoping there is a soundtrack from this film that I can purchase. For more information about BLACK, WHITE, AND BLUES visit http://www.blackwhiteandblues.com/.  (New title: REDEMPTION ROAD)

03 July 2010

Oscar Micheaux Commemorative Stamp

Now available at the post office:
The back of the stamp reads:

Pioneering filmmaker Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951) wrote, directed, produced, and distributed more than 40 movies during the first half of the 20th century, when African-American filmmakers were extremely rare and support for their work was scarce. His entrepreneurial spirit and independent vision continue to inspire new generations of filmmakers and artists.

24 April 2010

La Mission

Today I watched an awesome film called LA MISSION starring Benjamin Bratt and Erika Alexander in magnificent performances. I liked the multi-cultural cast, the music, and the setting of San Francisco. This was certainly one of the most unique movies I have seen in a long time.

The writing is superb. Characters talk the way people actually do. After the screening I told the director/writer/producer Peter Bratt and the film’s star Benjamin Bratt how I think it is great the dialog is so natural and Benjamin commented that some people have assumed everyone was improvising when in fact Peter’s screenplay is written with characters “being real.” No one puts on airs. These characters are real people and talk like real people who are in real situations that are relevant today.

LA MISSION is another fantastic independent film, and is now showing in select cities. Hopefully it is screening at a theatre near you. If not, contact your local theatre and request it. For more information about LA MISSION, visit the official Web site at http://www.lamissionthemovie.com/. You will see the trailer and hear some of the soulful music from the film.

11 March 2010

That Evening Sun

Last night I saw the movie THAT EVENING SUN starring Hal Holbrook, and enjoyed it.

THAT EVENING SUN is excellent storytelling with an interesting, multi-dimensional character played by Hal Holbrook, who gives an exceptional performance. The entire cast is good, and it is always a pleasure watching Barry Corbin act. To learn more about the film, visit http://thateveningsun.com/.

06 March 2010

Preston Castle

Today I visited Preston Castle (http://www.prestoncastle.com/) in Ione, California.

The Preston School of Industry is one of the oldest reform schools in the United States, as it opened in 1894 to house juvenile offenders, but was vacated in 1960. The castle is reputed to be haunted, especially since a female employee was murdered in the basement kitchen by one of the wards. Strange noises have been heard and individuals report seeing people who suddenly disappear. The above photograph is a room noted for having the most “activity,” and paranormal groups often gather there for investigations.

27 February 2010


Gotham is a wonderful independent soap opera from executive producer Martha Byrne, and based on characters developed by Byrne and Alexandra Verner Roalsvig. The show is written by Martha Byrne and Lisa Brown. Additionally, Brown magnificently directs each episode.

Martha Byrne plays “Catherine Prescott.” After surviving a devastating divorce, “Catherine” lives as a single woman, raises her daughter “Ava,” played by Jessica Griffin, and becomes a successful sales executive for Nicole Miller. Everything changes for her when she takes a trip to the suburbs of New York: “Richard Manning” walks back into her life.

Michael Park plays “Richard Manning,” who was named Crown Prince of Wall Street by the Wall Street Journal. His divorce from “Veronica Manning,” played by Lisa Peluso, has graced the cover of The New York Post more than once during their year-long struggle to part ways. He always puts business first, and his personal life has been destroyed.

I really like Gotham. The series features fun, original music. And since “Catherine” works for Nicole Miller, the real-life designer’s fashions are elegantly adorned by the cast. Overall, this show is outstanding.

The series also stars Kin Shriner, Melanie Smith, Anna Stuart, Maeve Kinkead, Paolo Seganti, and so many more splendid actors viewers will recognize from television’s daytime dramas. You can watch Gotham at http://www.gothamtheseries.com/ and on the show’s YouTube Channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/GothamTheSeries) every other Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. You may also watch the show on iTunes (http://gothamtheseries.blip.tv/rss/itunes).

16 February 2010

Childhood Fears

In my September 28, 2009 post I shared information about the excellent films I watched at ShockerFest International Film Festival. One of the movies I really liked was a short film titled CHILDHOOD FEARS. Remember I told you the director, Cameron Roubique, promised a Web series? Well, I received a nice surprise this week, as Cameron sent me a message announcing the series will premiere Friday, March 19th!

CHILDHOOD FEARS is a horror anthology series. According to Dark Factory Films, it will showcase “any and every childhood fear . . . from the monster in the closet to clowns and anything in between.” Here is the Web site: http://www.childhoodfears13.com/.


My new novel, THE TWO SISTERS, is available for purchase:  The Two Sisters by Terri Dawn Arnold . The story has crime, drama, and mystery. L...